Woman touching her face.

Our pain, Insecurities, And Challenges Are A Part Of Us

Woman touching her face.

Numbing yourself with alcohol and drugs won’t make these feelings go away. Moving to another city or flying to another planet won’t keep you safe. And pushing yourself to work past the point of human exhaustion won’t make you forget anything.

Wherever you go, as soon as you sober up and you finally slow down, they will be there. Therefore, it leaves you with one option:

“You can run, run, run away from a lot of things in life, but you can’t run away from yourself. And the key to happiness is to understand and accept who you are.” – Dale Archer

 

You Can’t Keep Running Forever

I used to think that running away from my problems was the easiest solution. I thought I had life all figured out because I believed if I avoided my problems, such as health risks and having no self-confidence, it would simply go away.

Guess what? It did go away momentarily, just to return bigger and nastier everlastingly.

The same would happen in your case. Hiding and running from your demons is never a definite solution. You’re only feeding the demons and they will wait for you when you stop running. Even worse, you will probably feel too exhausted and burned out to deal with them.

 

Are You Running Away?

I want to point out that sometimes when you choose to leave a toxic relationship or decide to quit a soul-consuming job, it might seem as if you’re “running away” from your problems, but it’s not. I had discussions on this matter where there have been some misunderstandings.

Just to make sure we’re on the same page, the bottom line is: You’re not running away if you’re making a conscious decision to positively reclaim your life.

In this case, you’re really running away when your toxic relationship starts getting abusive or your soul-consuming job starts making you feel depressed, and you decide to stick your head in the ground and wait for it to just disappear.

Will it be easy to deal with? No. But your problems will continue to follow you until you face them. The longer you wait, the more abusive and more soul-consuming your problems will become.

 

Your Emotional Pain

Whenever the word “pain” comes up, it tends to be more connected to emotional pain, because those are the most difficult to deal with. Whether you saw it coming or not, the feeling is the same: you’re devastated. You gasp at your vulnerability and wonder, “Why did this happen?”.

Life comes with many hardships: heartbreak, injury, illness, death, desertion. Though we may share similar experiences, every pain is personal. No matter how many times people say, “I understand”, they don’t. You may even resent them for trying.

You see, when you’re savagely knocked down by life, don’t get right back up. Imagine yourself tripping or falling, you have the impulsive habit to get right up, dust yourself off, and move on again. However, when you have a severe injury, you can’t ignore it because you know it will make it worse. This is the same with emotional pain.

Pain, both physically and emotionally, demands attention because it needs to be acknowledged and embraced before you can move on.

The avoidance of pain only increases pain. Emotional wounds are beyond sadness. They’re felt in the depths of your whole being. Honour your pain, don’t run from it. Unplug, put time aside to reflect, and give yourself permission to grieve. If people push you to “get over it,” ignore them. Time and patience are key to recovery. Surround yourself with family and friends who understand that.

 

You Just Can’t Run Away From Yourself

Do you have this feeling that you keep running into the same problem over and over again?

Wherever you go, you seem to bump into the same kind of annoying colleagues at every other company you’ve worked. Or you keep having rude neighbours wherever you move to. Maybe it’s time to ask yourself the source of this problem. Maybe you believe that the problem exists outside yourself, when in reality, you should be looking within.

 

“Some people run from pain their whole lives, and what pain they do not digest they inflict upon others.”- Bryant McGill

 

There’s a reason why we can’t run away forever. Our pain, insecurities, and challenges are a part of us.

There is no point in hiding, running, avoiding, and ignoring our problems. Problems are meant to be solved, and if you have the courage to face them directly, then you’ll realise that it is so much easier to take a stand than it is to run away.

“Make Yourself Heard”

Originally published at ye-chen.com.

  • How do you deal with your problems and challenges in life?
  • Are you a runner or do you face your problems directly?
  • Do you feel you’re running into the same problem over and over again?

 Have your say in the comment section 🙂

AND if you like this blog, don’t forget to Like and Share, and subscribe to my Weekly Newsletter.

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Three girls sitting together.

What We Forget When Giving Advice

Three girls sitting together.

We all know someone who is in need of a little advice, and maybe even yourself.

The issue that comes with offering advice is that it’s easy to be perceived as a know-it-all and that has led many to be consumed by their own ego. In time, that will affect the way advice is given. In my case, I become more and more condescending as my ego is trying to take over my mind. And when that happens, nobody is going to listen.

When you have a friend, who is in a tough spot, it’s good to want to provide with some insight to help them out. But it’s not an easy conversation to have, especially when you think to know all the complicated circumstances of their situation that made you realise how little you actually know.

So, to not make the same mistake again, here are three important self-check questions to ask yourself:

 

Is Your Advice Wanted?

Clearly, not everyone is looking for advice. Before you go offering your point of view, make sure they’re interested in hearing it, because no type of advice is worse than unwanted advice. Oftentimes, people aren’t looking for advice from anyone to solve their problem.

Sometimes, it’s best to stay quiet and be more of a listening ear. Once you commit to listening rather than talking, there will be less burden on you to say something wise. And most importantly, your friend or family will feel heard.

Other times, it’s best to let the moment pass, give yourself some time to think and then return with well-planned words. We can all relate to the following: How many of us did not take our parents’ advice because we weren’t ready to hear it? Only to realize later that those same parents magically acquired intelligence and the advice they gave us years ago was spot-on.

Another way to go around is, instead of giving well-planned words, ask them questions, so they go through the process of finding their own solutions. If it’s getting clear that the person doesn’t have a clear solution or practice, then that’s your chance to ask if they would like to hear your input on their problem. If they don’t want your input, then continue to listen actively and just be there. Sometimes it’s better for them to let out some steam and solve it on their own.

 

Are You Honest About What You Know And Don’t Know?

“Don’t give someone advice when you don’t have the proper experience yourself,” is the most used argument when giving advice. Understandable, because pretending like you know something you don’t and acting as you’ve been in a situation you haven’t been will only harm yourself and others on the long-run. Remember, you can only fool some people for some time.

But then again, do you really need personal experience to give great advice? You might be better off without it because one danger of giving advice is projecting your own experiences. You might have been there, but you haven’t been through that precise same situation. Try to recall the most difficult situation that you’ve been in and you might find out exactly how different the situation is.

What I’m trying to point out is: Don’t worry too much about offering your view to your friend just because you haven’t experienced the exact problem. Your friend will appreciate your view even more if you’re approaching a situation with new perspectives.

What it all comes down to is being honest and let your friend know that you are not familiar with his or her situation and that you want to shed some light unto this problem based on what you have heard so far. Offer guidance in a way that’s truly helpful, which is to advise the person about the decision at hand. Explain what you know about their options, offer a recommendation if you see fit, then let them use that information to make a sound decision.

Reeshad Dalal, a psychologist at George Mason University in Fairfax who studies effective decisions and advice, says: “While you may have greater expertise on the topic as a whole, the decision-maker may have greater expertise about the specific decision to be made.”

 

Are You Making Sure It’s About Them?

I’m sure you know someone, or maybe even yourself, getting all upset because the given advice was never used (I know I have). It’s understandable since you took the time and effort to give your friend advice. However, this doesn’t mean he or she is obligated to use it and most certainly it doesn’t mean you are entitled to any gratitude in return.

The thing is, they may not agree with your advice or recommendations. They have no responsibility to use it and that’s perfectly fine. As hard as this may sound, they owe you nothing. You can’t tell people what to do, but the good part is that you can help them get there. It’s not a simple task to understand and be empathetic – to imagine the place where others are stuck in and how they are feeling.

Sadly, many of us have the tendency to project our own issues and successes onto others even when it’s not needed. When someone is facing a dilemma, they need self-confidence to trust their intuition and make an informed decision. In addition, it helps to offer emotional support next to giving advice.

So, if a friend comes to you for advice, let them know that you’re here to help but you trust them to make an intelligent decision. Believe me, your confidence may be all the advice they need to overcome any adversity.

Of course, this is still an advice, so I leave it up to you whether to use it or not.

 

Best Advice

Please keep in mind what might work with one friend might not work with another. Use your good judgment. Eventually, you want your advice to strengthen your friend and give them more confidence in their own judgment in the future.

The best advice I was ever given throughout my life was to ask better questions and to listen closely. This is such an important skill that can contribute to many life situations and promote a deeper understanding of friends, family, and even people you meet in the business.

Originally published at ye-chen.com.

  • How do you usually give advice?
  • Do you have any advice for me?
  • What was best ever given advice?

Have your say in the comment section 🙂

AND if you like this blog, don’t forget to Like and Share, and subscribe to my Weekly Newsletter.

 

 

A learning experience!

Hi friends,

How are you all doing?  I have been enjoying the festival of Diwali with lots of good food, bright lights and my favorite people.  Since it is almost the end of the year I am also going through my blog to see what all I have written and how I feel about them now.

Learning experiences

This year has been an important year for me in terms of blogging because I have started blogging regularly.  It all started after my recovery from an illness when I craved to write on my blog.

Today, I want to share some lessons I learnt from my illness.  It made me value everything a lot more.

The link to my blog post is:

https://mythoughtsandcreations.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/learning-experience/

I would love to hear your thoughts on the same.

Love,

Rashmi

 

P.s. Image created using Canva

Change The Story You Tell Yourself, And You Change Your Life

A silhouette in a forest.

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Yesterday, I saw this quote by accident in a bookstore near where I live. As I was walking to a bus station, a nostalgic feeling popped up from when I used to think that everyone around me was happier, smarter, and wealthier than me. It was a story I kept telling myself, and as long as I continue doing that, I continued being not enough. It took me a few years until I was able to open my eyes and change my story.

Literally, you become, and you receive what you tell your unconscious mind you deserve and think to be. The present state of your life is a direct result of the stories you tell yourself, and what you really believe to be possible. By changing all limiting stories you tell yourself, you will be able to change your life with time.

I came to realise the fake reality we often tell ourselves and its damaging effect. It took me years to break free from this, but I know there are others who are still stuck in their own made reality wanting to break free as well. So, let me share my five-steps guideline on how to change the story you tell yourself and your life.

 

1.     What Stories Do You Tell Yourself Right Now?

The reason for this question is for you to identify limiting stories you tell yourself.

So, what is the limiting story you tell yourself? Common stories are: I’m never going to find love; I’m never going to be successful; I’m too shy to give a speech in public; I’m not going to college, because I’m not smart enough; or I’m too lazy to go to the gym. Maybe, you’re also thinking you aren’t enough.

As mentioned earlier, the present state of your life is a direct result of the stories you tell yourself. So, your perception of reality is determined by the stories you tell yourself. This does not necessarily make them real, except for the fact that you believe they are. Your story creates and orders what your attitude and how you respond to life. This is what you need to break free from.

The difference between you and the people doing and having the things that you’ve always wanted is the story you tell yourself. Changing that story is one of the most important steps to start changing your life.

 

2.     Change It To An Empowering Story

When you have identified your limiting story, you have to change your old limiting story into a new empowering story.

Let’s take my old limiting story of not being enough as an example. For me, deciding that I am enough was my new story. As easy as it may sound, it’s not, because a new story by itself is not going to sustain. This new story needs to be fixed in my belief.

When I decided to change my story about myself, I looked around at my life for evidence whether my new story was true. For example, do friends and family think I’m enough.

 

3.     Support Your New Story With Emotions

Supporting your new story with facts will help you believe it, but what really anchors it into your life is associating it with positive emotions and positive thinking.

What I do every morning is, I visualise how my day would look like. I visualise going to the gym and have a great workout for an hour. I visualise myself setting a cup of coffee with the sun shining brightly through the window. I visualise how I would engage readers this time with what topic and style of introduction.

By visualising and rehearsing in your mind the positive outcome will make you feel joy and look forward to what you plan to accomplish every day.

“Imagine a new story for your life and start living it.” – Paulo Coelho

 

4.     Make It Happen

Visualising isn’t enough to make change happen. You make it happen by taking action and that’s where you really start to see change happening. Now that you have a new empowering story about your life, you’ll be able to see more opportunities in your life. You’ll also have the courage to try things that you never did before.

You will start challenging yourself more often and see things from a more positive perspective. Sometimes, you might fall back into old habits, but remember that making the effort will get you a step closer to your ideal than you were before.

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan

 

5.     Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Changes won’t come as fast as you want it to be. What will happen, though, is that you will recognize the opportunities that will get you there.

Don’t be mad at yourself or others if it doesn’t happen fast enough for you, or if you fail to make the changes you want. Making slow but steady progress in the right direction every day will get you where you need to be. It’s important to be consistent.

Don’t beat yourself up if you fall back into old habits. We are often our biggest critics. Just pick yourself up and start again. It’s the ability to continue moving forward that will get you to your goal.

Originally published at ye-chen.com.

  • What story do you tell yourself right now?
  • What do you think of the five-steps guideline?
  • What is the new story you want to tell yourself?

Have your say in the comment section 🙂

AND if you like this blog, don’t forget to Like and Share, and subscribe to my Weekly Newsletter.

NO SHAM FOAM

Far away in a foreign land
Amid settlements all so grand
With planning imaging perfection,
My eyes perceive only hard complexion!

Oh! I remember my land
My town and my home
Where peace resides
With no sham foam!
Those multiple narrow lanes
Where streams flow during the rains
Converge into the byway
Where commuters move in an array.

Conquering miles and distances
Traveling on varied carriages,
I ramble across sceneries
With well-shaped greeneries
And domestication perfectly tamed;
I wonder why they are famed?

Oh! I remember my land
My town and my home
Where Nature resides
With no sham foam!
Those uncivilized parks
Where nature sparks,
Plantations finding their own way
Growing and blooming astray,
Producing flowers and fruits
Coloring the land in different suits!

Mountaineering the frozen heights
To experience the greatness delights,
I am attacked by aloofness
Stark coldness wrapped in bleak darkness,
The Uniqueness loses its joy
While the victories turn a decoy.

Oh! I remember my land
My town and my home
Where warmth resides
With no sham foam!
Welcoming sunrise and mesmerizing sunsets
With rays sieving through rosettes,
Greet the visitors with a vivacious expression
Igniting the course of amelioration!

Strange acquaintances
Diplomatic faces
Calls for benefit
Majorly counterfeit

Oh! I remember my land
My town and my home
Where culture resides
With no sham foam!
Guests are treated akin Gods,
With no visitor suffering any odds
Welcomed with an  open heart
Even etiquettes seem an art.

Professionalism on the cover
Tactfulness forms the inner,
Smiles reflecting fake demeanor
Wearing the attire of redeemer.

Oh! I remember my land
My town and my home
Where humanity resides
With no sham foam!
Words have meanings
People have feelings
Commitments mean the world
When vows go unfurled.

Furnished bungalows
Sophistication echoes,
Barricades separating rooms
Uprooting values evaporating in fumes.

Oh! I remember my land
My town and my home
Where humility resides
With no sham foam!
Unadorned establishments
With Love embellishments,
Meals on the same platter
Sentiments never scatter!

Indifferent masses moving in a tizzy,
Claiming to be very busy
Slip emotions with time
The Concern is core sublime!

Oh! I remember my land
My town and my home
Where hospitality resides
With no sham foam!
Mom fulfills all deficits
Dad fetches all favorites
Siblings wait at the door,
Happiness at my shore!

Roasted, baked and sauteed
Food cooked in hygiene masquerade,
Best of equipment and cook
Yet commotion in the brook!

Oh! I remember my land
My town and my home
Where purity resides
With no sham foam!
All dishes piously made
Holding tastes that maladies fade,
Everyone bids for benign gossips
With crispy fried turnips.

This is how my land has been
With blossoms freshly green
Where love still grows
And compassion still flows,
Where humans value each other
And empathize no less than a brother,
Where relationships are still cherished
And absence is still missed,
Where mother holds the position
Higher than any possession

Oh! Yes I remember my town
I belong to the land of principles,
Where integrity thrives in multiples
Where simplicity is observed
And honesty is practiced,
Where bonds are altruistically planted
And tied threads are never taken for granted!

Patience, The Hardest Virtue [Video]

Patience is a virtue

Perhaps the most common word regularly associated virtue in patience. Most have heard the saying, “Patience is a virtue.”

Virtues are supposed to be good characteristics in a person. Attributes that are beneficial and to be desired.

Yet, patience is not desirable to most. Why not?

Perhaps that is because patience is misunderstood by most. Nor do most want to pay the price patience demands.

The Misunderstood Virtue

I submit that if you asked people what they believe patience is, most would say it means waiting calmly for something. Furthermore, when asked if this is a good quality, most would say yes.

However, patience is a seldom-practiced virtue, especially in the information age. The results of one survey in 2015 by a banking group show that,

nearly 80 percent of respondents rating themselves as being patient, but in reality:

  • 96 percent of Americans will knowingly consume extremely hot food or drink that burns their mouth; 63 percent do so frequently

  • More than half hang up the phone after being on hold one minute or less

  • 71 percent frequently exceed the speed limit to get to their destination faster

  • Americans will binge-watch an average of seven TV episodes in a single sitting

Thus while most believe patience is a good thing and that they exhibit it, they actually don’t show it in real life. In fact, the practice of being impatient is much more prevalent.

It has always been the case that impatient people live among us. However, the promise of instant gratification today seems to have enlarged the presence of impatience in the world.

In this manner, the meaning of patience is trivialized. We think to be patient means waiting more than 20 minutes for a meal at a restaurant, or not honking the horn after less than a 10-second delay.

The modern understanding of patience is a surface understanding. What is not understood is that patience exacts a price most are not willing to pay.

The Price of Patience

Price tags

 

 

Patience is simply the quality of being patient.  According to the dictionary, the definition of being patient is to be,

1 : bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint

2 : manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain

3 : not hasty or impetuous

4 : steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity

Notice the words used by the dictionary; ‘pains…trials…provocation…strain…opposition…difficulty, and adversity.’

The price of patience is far more than momentary irritation at being delayed. It is the price of pain, trials, and adversity.

In other words, a truly patient person will be one who endures suffering, and that is a reality all seek to avoid. It makes patience the hardest of virtues.

The Patience of Job

The quintessential story of profound patience is the account of Job from the Old Testament. Traditionally, if someone says that another “has the patience of Job,” it was considered a compliment.

Job prays to GodThe meaning behind this is that because Job stoically endured great suffering, he exhibited great patience. However, a mini-exposition of the book of Job reveals that patient waiting has a different character than we might believe.

Chapters one and two set the stage. God gives permission for Satan to test Job’s faith, and Satan proceeds to destroy all that Job has or loves.

Job literally sits on the ash-heap of his life in apparent silence for the next seven days. Then, in chapter 3, Job comes to the end of his silence by cursing the day he was born.

His ‘friends’ who had sat with him in silence then speak. For most of the rest of the story, they trash Job and claim he must’ve sinned grievously or else these bad things wouldn’t have happened.

The End of Job’s Patience

Job refuses their judgment and defends his wish for God to end his life, as well as defending himself against the charges of his companions. The bulk of Job’s defense is not to excuse himself but to cry out pleading that God explain why this is happening.

Finally, after several pleas and complaints by Job to God, and rebukes of Job by the others, God responds beginning in chapter 38. The Divine words mark the end of both Job’s patience and complaints and hold the key to how patience is indeed a virtue.

Chapter’s 38-41 feature God seemingly scolding Job for his complaints. Job’s words in chapter 42 reveal that he recognizes his ignorance in the face of his suffering.

…Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Job 42:3 [ESV]

Job suffered grievously and that caused him to question his faith in God’s judgment. After God spoke, Job repented of his complaints and humbled himself before God.

The LORD speaks after Job’s repentance and provides us with a crucial fact about patience.

After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. Job 42:7 [ESV]

What was the biggest difference between what Job’s friends said and what Job said? The three friends talked to Job, while Job addressed God.

True Patience Results From Faith

FaithWhen the statements of Job’s friends are examined, they contain basically two things. One is a condemnation of Job and the other is a defense of God’s seeming judgment upon him.

When Job speaks, he is also saying two things. He defends his character and directs his hurt and questioning to God.

In other words, Job talked to God, while the others just talked about God. That is the difference of faith.

Real patience is not simply waiting on God; it is waiting for God. It isn’t to ‘let go and let God,’ it is to let go and seek God even more in the middle of trials and suffering.

Author Philip Yancey explains it this way in his book, “Disappointment With God,”

…the more important battle, as shown in Job, takes place inside us. Will we trust God? Job teaches that at that moment when faith is hardest and least likely, then faith in most needed.

Patience is a virtue because it places faith in what the LORD is doing for His ultimate purposes, even when it involves suffering for us. It puts God on the throne of life and kicks us off of it.

That was a lesson Jesus taught while on earth all the way to His own suffering for us on the cross. He trusted and followed God the Father patiently and would not remove Himself from suffering He knew would come.

Patience is a reflection of faithfully turning to God.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6 [KJV]

A Great Example in the Midst of Loss

I preached many hundreds of sermons in my 20 years as a pastor. I have listened to many times that amount of messages in my life.

One message touched especially moved me and it is appropriate to mention it here for it exemplifies patience applied in the midst of great sorrow. The late evangelist and pastor E.V. Hill preached this as his wife’s eulogy.

I have listened to this many times and each time brings me to tears. I urge any who suffer trials today to hear this, for it is a great example of real and righteous patience.

 

May the LORD bless you and keep you faithfully patient in and through every trial now and forever. Next time we will look at the virtue of Kindness.

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001
The Holy Bible, King James Version, Public Domain

“Disappointment With God” by Philip Yancy, Zondervan, 1988

Top image courtesy of Jim Surkamp’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset image 1 courtesy of artjouer street art’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License Inset image 2 courtesy of Maltz Evan’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset image 3 courtesy of Art4TheGlryOfGod Photography by Sharon’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

First published in TIL Journal

 

The Sunshine Blogger Award

The Sunshine Blogger Award

The Sunshine Blogger Award

To my surprise, Glen McKenzie – from the amazing “justabitfurther” weblog about getting outdoor, discovering yourself, and finding inspiration – nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I’m really honoured and thankful to be nominated for this award by Glen.

I shouldn’t be the only one to accept this award, because I get my inspiration from the blogging community – especially my dear readers.

If you are wondering what this all means, the Sunshine Blogger Award is given by bloggers, to other bloggers, who inspire creativity and positivity within the blogging community. It’s a great way to recognise and connect with other bloggers within your niche or the blogging world. Also, it means you spread the word about writers you love with your readers. It’s a win-win for all involved, so let’s spread the sunshine!

Here Are The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog, so others can find them;
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you;
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions;
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts;
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

11 Questions From Glen McKenzie

  1. Why did you get into or what motivated you to start blogging?

In short, my life has gone through some major changes over the years in terms of what I value, what my interests are, what my goals are, who I consider my family and friends, and much more. It’s all a bit ironic. You see, I wasn’t really looking to change myself at all, things just started happening. That’s a nice way to sum up life I suppose.

At the same time, it’s weird: although growing and changing is obviously a good thing, it’s also very confusing because you become a bit of a new person. Unfortunately, people hardly talk about what they are going through and are afraid of it, even though there are so many questions. So, I started to write about my experiences in my blogs, hoping to inspire and change people’s lives for the better.

After giving a lot of thought, I found out that I want to positively influence people who find themselves in a tough transition in their lives through content published on this website. I want this website to be our go-to place when we stand face-to-face with adversity – where we openly share the changes we have been through and going through.

  1. What’s your favourite comfort food?

I have to say homemade congee or also called rice porridge, which is a simple classic Asian breakfast dish. I feel nostalgic every time I eat this.

  1. What does happiness mean to you?

I believe that “sharing” would be the closest to happiness for me. To share what I have with the people close to me and just have fun by living in the moment. Of course, happiness is not a destination. Happiness is one of those things that requires consistent effort, similar to love or success.

  1. What do you do in your spare time (assuming you have any)?

Spend quality time with either family or friends. And sometimes, when I have a bad day, I would lie on the couch and watch movies on Netflix.

  1. What do you love most about blogging?

That would be to put my thoughts on paper. It helps me clear my mind and put things in perspective. Sometimes, I have this gut feeling that something I want to do is right, but a gut feeling is just that – a feeling. Once I put it out there, it helps put everything into a relatable context and give me even more reason to trust my gut instincts and carry on with the plan I felt was right all along.

  1. What is one random fact about yourself?

I’m scared of spiders. Not phobic, just scared.

  1. What is one piece of advice you give other bloggers?

“Stop stopping yourself from doing something great.” We hesitate so much with every single scary, bold, and life-changing decision, it’s becoming a nasty habit. I can’t blame anyone since I was the same, until I learned to take action fast before I talk myself out of it again. So, stop overthinking and start doing.

  1. Favourite flavour of ice cream?

Lemon!

  1. Do your family or friends know about your blog and what do they think of it?

My close friends know what I’m doing, and they are very supportive. With family, it’s a bit difficult. I haven’t told all family members that I’m blogging, especially the older generation who are having a hard time understanding technology. Some are sceptical while others think it’s cool. I personally don’t talk openly about it with family members, but they do sometimes ask me about how my writing is going.

  1. Dogs or cats?

I’m allergic to cats. But I love cats. So, cats.

  1. If you could be any superhero, what power would you have and why?

Time travelling would be so awesome! I’m imagining all the disasters I could prevent, but on the other hand, I would not want to mess with causality.

11 Bloggers Who Deserve This Award

  1. Amira at ASelfGuru.com
  2. Jeremy at Intentional Husband
  3. Lauren at Social Media – The L.A. Way
  4. Talisa at that new girl
  5. Joyce at Heavenly Bodies
  6. Anna at My Tenacious Life
  7. Brandy at Conquering Relationships
  8. Michelle at The Perfectly Imperfect Mummy
  9. Lorraine at Snowboard How
  10. Matti at Load Last Save
  11. Peter at The Novel Mindset

11 New Questions For All Nominees To Tackle

  1. What does success mean to you?
  2. What was the best phase of your life?
  3. What’s your favourite book?
  4. What’s an ideal morning for you?
  5. What’s the one thing that people always misunderstand about you?
  6. Where is your favourite place in the entire (fantasy) world to go?
  7. What are your top five favourite movies?
  8. What’s something you can’t go a day without doing?
  9. If you could get away with anything that you do?
  10. What fictional character do you most relate to?
  11. What is your favourite day of the year?

Thank You Glen!

Again, a big shout out to Glen McKenzie for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Let’s keep this community going and give recognition to many more bloggers.

Originally published at ye-chen.com.

Leaves changing colours.

Why I’m A Change Enthusiast

Leaves changing colours.

I didn’t always like changes. As a matter of fact, I was afraid of it and I hated it. For the longest time, change has been this word that leaves an ominous aftertaste and I couldn’t figure out why. And I’m not the only one. We seem to be living in a world where the majority is scared by change.

Often, we pretended to embrace change even as our heart sank, because we knew it was going to end badly and we already felt the inevitable loss. “I hate this relationship but I’m afraid of being alone, or I’m tired of being a teacher but I don’t know how to do anything else.” The twisted thing about change is that we want it as much as we fear it, and we need it as much as we need safety.

 

Change Comes With Loss

I realised that every change comes with a loss of something. Usually, it is the comfort, predictability, and safety. Change always means giving something up, and that is difficult for many people, even in inevitable situations. This is why change is so hard for so many people. They don’t fear change itself, they fear the loss it brings.

For example, you’re leading a meeting and somewhere down the meeting you say, “We’re going to try something new” or “We’re taking a new direction”. With a bit of empathy, you know this puts people on edge at the end of your sentence. This makes most of the people all nervous about what’s coming, and for a small group, it might be exciting. But when you follow up with a reason, it will put people more at ease.

As Simon Sinek famously wrote, we need to start with the why – the purpose.

“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek

 

Change Is A Means To Progress, Not An Aim

Change is something that is required to keep ourselves and the world progressing forward. Refusal to change is inaction and leads to deteriorating of self or an organisation. Change is a by-product when a decision is made, or a vision is pursued. If we reach a place where change is a decision or a vision, then we become purposeless. It would mean that we toy with things that don’t need to be toyed with. We become bored and discard perfectly good ways of doing things. We fix what is not broken and in doing so, we break it.

For change to be meaningful, either personally or in an organisation, it must have a target, a goal. It is a change in direction to reach a different destination, and the destination must be better than the one on the previous route. Therefore, change cannot be our aim, it must be our means.

 

Time Changes

Change comes in different sizes and in different momentums. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a change that affects our entire life, family, friends, education, and every other aspect. But sometimes, even changing something as simple as our thoughts can have a huge impact on our lives.

That is why I’m a change enthusiast. Regardless of how big or small change may be, it affects our mindset, workflow, and can serve as a huge boost in our overall day enthusiasm. Also, it allows me to see myself, and even the world, from a different perspective. It gives me the chance to clear my mind and move forward. Time changes, and when we as a person stay motionless in life, we won’t get nearly the experience we would be getting if we were opened and accepting to change.

“When time changes, so must we.” – Barack Obama

 

In The End, There Will Be Good News

It doesn’t matter whether we embrace change or hide away from it in a corner because change is constant. Change is happening all the time, with and without your participation, from “they stopped making my favourite sandwich” to “I’m expecting a baby”.

Even if you make no changes in your second-rate marriage, your boring job, or your painful relationship with your brother, all those things will change anyway. You can either choose to take steps toward change or to wait and see what surprises life has for you as you cling to what you thought was safety.

Mostly, change is as inevitable as the leaves falling in autumn. Some of us choose to stay home, some of us choose to go outside and experience the scenery, a few admirable of us go rolling in the leaves and make photos. No matter what, the leaf falls. It falls to give valuable nutrition to the soil and make preparations to blossom once again next spring.

Originally published at ye-chen.com.

  • What are your thoughts on change?
  • What has been your biggest change in life?
  • What has been your most unexpected change?

Have your say in the comment section 🙂

AND if you like this blog, don’t forget to Like and Share, and subscribe to my Weekly Newsletter.

Have you ever felt like no one wanted you?

I chose to wrap up this month and my mental health advocacy theme with a poem I wrote when a cousin who had been rejected by the family and taken in by me, suddenly became their star because she turned out right after all and was now getting married and settled in her studies and all. People can make poor choices and live in challenging situations, but it is possible that they turn out just right if only we could show them more love and less ‘judgment’, rejection, marginalization and stigmatization.

There was a girl I knew

A difficult Childhood she had

A shaggy life she led

All were getting fed up

Her mama said out you go

And I said in you come

Continue reading please

p.s: Be inspired and motivated everyone, to not only want to turn out right, but to equally do your little mite to help another person turn out right. It could just be with a smile and a stare rid or rejection…

I am so happy I challenged myself to 3 posts a week with SIWO during this month, and I did it hurray…time for a little break…

Someone taking notes in his book.

Discover Your Own Writing Process

Someone taking notes in his book.

Every writer has his or her own writing process. I have mine and you have yours – no two are the same. Often, the process comes naturally and is not a step-by-step guide to which writers refer. And eventually, after many trials and errors, that process becomes your own writing routine made to fit in your personal lifestyle.

I discovered my own from reading and listening to authors talking about parts of their writing process. Many times, the thought of “I cannot write like that!” came to my mind. Other times I may think, “Oh that’s a great idea! Let me give that a try.” Therefore, I tried.

It may work, and it may not. However, we are changing and growing beings, and I believe it’s wise to try new things outside of our comfort zone. On second thought, don’t try. Instead, really start doing. Do your best to get outside of your bubble.

 

Not Everything Will Work

Everything that I do won’t work for you, and that’s okay. It’s good to figure out what does and doesn’t work for you and to stay true to your creative self.

I hope this post will bring comfort to those of you who share a similar process, and motivation to try something new to those of you who don’t. At the core, being aware of your own writing process is helpful when you find yourself struggling with a particularly tricky piece.

So, here are five guidelines I use when I write, which may help you towards creating or identifying your personal writing process:

 

1. Prewriting

You’re ready to start. Yes, you are! So, why have you been staring at that blank page for the past hour?

The idea of prewriting is to identify everything, or at least most of the things, you need to do before you start on your rough draft. There are three keywords that help to identify what you need: “Find, Build, and Plan.”

  • Find your idea: Ideas and inspirations are all around you. It can be drawn from your everyday situation, conversation, routine, and good or bad memories. Be as open-minded as you possibly can. Do your research if needed and keep a notebook with you specifically devoted to writing down your ideas as they come to you. Your own imagination is the only limit to finding your source of inspiration.
  • Build on your idea: There are two popular methods to work out your idea, which are freewriting and brainstorming. Freewriting means writing every idea that you have on your mind unto (digital) paper. Just let the ideas flow and do not stop to edit your mistakes. Or, try brainstorming. If you’re on a computer, try to visualise your narrative: write your idea in the centre of the page and work outwards in all of the different directions you can take your story.
  • Plan and structure: Bringing your idea together comes next. It’s time to choose which ones you will use to form your story. Make sure you keep your notes even after your work is published. Whatever there may be in your notes, there may be the seeds for your next story as well.

Tip: Once you have an idea, don’t make the mistake of jumping straight into your writing because you’ll end up with a badly structured piece. Instead, expand on it and see the bigger picture of how your story unfolds.

 

2. Writing

Now you have your plan and you’re ready to start writing.

Remember, this is your first rough draft. Forget about word count and grammar. Don’t worry if you stray off topic. Even the greatest writers produce multiple drafts before they produce their finished work.

This stage is basically a free writing exercise. Identify the best time and location to write and get rid of obvious distractions. Make writing a regular part of your day.

Tip: Writing requires concentration and energy. If you’re new to writing, don’t try to write for hours without stopping. Instead, give yourself short breaks of 30 minutes relax and refocus. Try not to check your emails in the meantime.

 

3. Revisions

During this stage, your story can change a great deal.

At this stage, the focus is still on the content itself and not grammar or spelling. When revising your work, adopt the A.R.R.R. approach:

  • Add: Does your work have enough words to be considered a blog, article, novel, or e-book? Have you given all the information that your readers need to make sense out of your story? If not, go back to your notebook that you kept for additional topics and details.
  • Rearrange: Think critically about the flow, pace and sequence of your story. Would the story improve if some of the events occur in a different order?
  • Remove: After making additions and rearrangements to your story, how much is your word count now? Are you overloading your readers with too much information? Maybe you can send your message across with fewer words? You may need to eliminate paragraphs that don’t quite fit.
  • Replace: Do you need more details to help clarify your work? Is one paragraph contradicting another? The most effective way to review your work is to ask for a second opinion from one or multiple proof-readers. Ask friends or fellow writers to proof-read and give you feedback. If something isn’t working, rewrite it and replace it.

Tip: If you’re not sure what works and what isn’t, show your writing to someone else. Ask a friend or family member for feedback. Getting feedback from several people will be the best, so that you can get more than one opinion.

 

4. Editing

You’re done revising your story.

Now, it’s time to fine-tune your work line by line. Check for repetition, clarity, grammar, spelling and punctuation. Editing is an extremely detailed process and it’s best when performed by a professional. It’s unappealing to read content that is full of errors. Here are some things to check for:

  • Using the same word too many times in one sentence or paragraph;
  • Sentences that are hard to understand;
  • Words you could cut to make a sentence stronger;
  • Grammatically correct sentences;
  • Everything spelt correctly;
  • And Using punctuation marks correctly.

Tip: Print out your work and check for errors on paper. Many writers or proof-readers find it easier to spot them this way.

 

5. Publishing

The final step is publishing. Of course, This means different things depending on the piece you’re working on. Feel free to bookmark this post so that you can come back to it each time you start on a new article, blog post, essay or story.

Tip: Your work might not receive the results you’re hoping for, but that’s okay. Everything that you write is not wasted, because it all contributes to your growth as a writer.

Originally published at ye-chen.com.

 

I will soon create a detailed checklist for you to download for your own convenience. Sign up to my Weekly Newsletter to receive an email with the link to download it when finished.

  • How does your writing process look like?
  • Do you have anything to add?
  • Do you have any tips for me?

Have your say in the comment section 🙂

AND if you like this blog, don’t forget to Like and Share, and subscribe to my Weekly Newsletter.