Tag Archives: life

Don’t Wallow

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I just read a great article by my favourite author, Donald Miller at his Storyline Blog.

It was about not giving into self-pity, and he gave the example of an Olympic ice skater who knew how to not wallow in his mistakes. You can’t wallow when you’re performing in a competition and make a mistake. You have to pick yourself up quick smart and keep going even when it feels so demoralizing to fall.

This lesson can be applied to life. We’re gonna make mistakes, we’re gonna fail and fall regularly. We’re gonna have cause to to feel self-pity and wallow. But don’t be consumed by it, because it stops you from getting on with what you’re supposed to be doing.

I know when I do something stupid, I can cut myself up about it for ages. This doesn’t help anything at all. So there’s no use wallowing in it and thinking I’m the worst of the worst.

No, I learn my lesson. I made a mistake, I learn from it, and then I move on.

When I don’t move on and I wallow, it cripples me. I beat myself up and I become ineffective because I feel like I’m no good and have nothing to offer. I get consumed by my wallowing thoughts.

There’s no point.

I know.

I’ve done both. I’ve wallowed over a mistake and felt terrible for ages; and I’ve controlled my mind to stop dwelling on it and move on with the lesson I learnt.

I can tell you it took a lot of effort to control my mind because it naturally wanted to wallow, but I was so much better for it when I didn’t give into it. I wasn’t crippled, I wasn’t wasting time worrying when there was nothing I could do, and I could continue on with life and focusing on things that did matter.

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Perspectives…

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Boys carrying spaghetti in a macaroni factory in Naples, Italy. 1929

Psychological and philosophical point of view, brought to you in plain language…

http://www.raptitude.com/2010/10/9-mind-bending-epiphanies-that-turned-my-world-upside-down

 

Depression and learning disabilities: Will you ever read anything like it?

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Andrew Solomon

“Stories are the foundation of identity. We forge meaning and build identity.”

Andrew Solomon

I am moving my eyes back and forth as I chase the words of enlightenment in Solomon`s book. Sometimes I glance up, look out the window and stare at moving cars or people. I let my feelings, awakened from a line beautifully crafted, circulate inside. I let the meaning of it touch me, and let the aftershock of new insights and hope explode. I want to inspire. I want to live.

The power of books, and the people writing them, can never be unappreciated. Instead of learning every lesson ourselves, we can let other words touch us by reading and listening to other`s experiences. The last week, I have either let my eyes rest on «The Noonday demon» or listened to “Far From the Tree “. Andrew`s two books feed you with experiences and knowledge from the first to the last page. The first digs deep into Andrew`s personal depressive demons, the other explores learning disabilities and challenging diagnoses like autism, schizophrenia and down`s syndrome.portable

Both books have a plethora of examples fitting the themes like a glove. They both blow life into theory, by letting us feel the people`s pain so we can also feel it. As psychological theories shows, you learn more when emotional. Another thing I like, is that my eyes never bumped into walls of bad writing, you simply float from page to page, only irritated by lack of time to devour everything at the same time (I have wished many times that I`d taken more time to learn to read faster, like I tried for a while).  

In addition to relevant stories from people with different types of problems, he writes about the newest research and even test many of the methods himself. He is not afraid of testing even alternative approaches that hasn`t been researched much. This is done in a balanced way since he manages natural skepticism blended with openness for new experiences at the same time (he liked EMDR).

I`m not sure how much time he`s used on the books, but I do know he`s been travelling all around the world (Bali, Africa, Europe and of course many states in USA) and investigated both medical and theoretical theories by reading and talking with professionals with diverse thoughts. He even tried to talk with America politicians (who sadly had their hand tied). It is clear he has taken the time necessary to write the book, even if he had to stop writing when Mr. depression knocked on the door.

Product Details

Far From The Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Solomon, Andrew (Feb 7, 2013)

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Another positive feature of the book, is the compassion towards people with a variety of conditions most of us would automatically turn our backs too. He is honest while describing his thoughts and experiences, and doesn`t try to walk on the water with the work he`s done. He has a down to earth attitude, also when it comes to the description of own shortcomings. He writes he can feel self-absorbed at times, and tries to look own motives in the eye if they walk next to him. Acceptance is mixed with curiosity, and the end-product is two of the best books I`ve read this year. He talks about the magnificent courage of the interviewees, but seldom points to his own. If he mentions it, he talks about how he should have written more.

I must not forget to mention how much knowledge he has managed to fit in between the stories of people who fight every day. He is capable of doing this in a very readable way. The emotions awakened after stories, make it easier to remember the facts.

He presents a cocktail of different treatment options, and is not judgmental if others chooses something different than himself. Once in the book he states that people can use the strategy they want, as long as it helps. This shows more than anything, that he writes (among other reasons) to help others who suffer.

Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity  Sounds like a really interesting read, heard him interviewed on the CBC.

What touches me the most is his own insight about why he writes; Because it gives hope. He chose the stories of people who impressed him, which doesn`t mean that you won`t see the dark sides of depression or learning disabilities, because you will. It just means that he again uses his ability to balance different views with grace and style. In my opinion, if others find it too positive, this is one of the books qualities. We learn better if we realize that we can do something about it. That`s why they have anti-smoking advice on the cigarette packages. You can`t jump into the water if you don`t know how to swim. I could have written much more, but I`d rather just recommend it, and hope that people with interest in psychology and especially in depression or learning disabilities, will run to the next shop (or amazon internet store) and start their own trip to wonderland. 

The world we long to see

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Sometimes its enough: We can`t keep bowing our heads in shame when we need to scream out. 2014.

Thanks to  and Monty

Les miserables gave us “Do You Hear the People Sing?”. The song never fails to awaken hope in me, and I`m probably not the first or last one, either.  I believe that the world can change. If we work for it and gather our strength, it can even be the world we dream off.  Barricades may rise and fall but the crux of the world never changes. Remember: “There is a life about to start When tomorrow comes!”


How would you answer this question: 
“Beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see?”

I know I`ll fight, no matter if others don`t. I`m even ready to fall, because I know how I`d feel if I didn`t follow my heart. I`ve always been like that, and I haven`t regretted anything, yet. Misery and tough times are at the heart of happiness.

It`s the rose afraid of dying, that never seems to live

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Some people I love:

More:

Inspired from Gandhi

The battle of kindness is the only way.
There is no way to peace

@ninjafighter

                                Les miserables (World Literature) from Sarah Cru

The sound of goodbye: Last scene

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The last scene

If you ask people: What do you regret most? The things you did or the things you didn`t do, they answer, with longing, the things they  didn`t do. When looking back, the things you didn`t say or do, linger on. The silence can speaks so loud and haunt you in the quiet night. Luckily, many have tought me this valuable lesson, and today I can`t thank them enough. When the bridge bridge collapsed under my feet, they stood there as I rebuilt it, stone by stone. I didn`t always realize it since fog hid their beautiful faces, but I always recognized them in the end. They saved me enough to see and take an outstretched hand when I needed it.

Some didn`t have pillars of safety to stand on when they built their lives. So what about them? What about those who couldn`t let their tears flow when they wanted? How can I ever compare my experiences to that? The lack of scaffolding must feel like swimming without seeing land. “True”, you might say, but this can bring out incredible strength in people. “True”, I`d answer with a sad voice. “But it still drains their energy for such a long time”. “And what about those who lose their lives in the effort? How many had to let go right before they reached the shore?

I have no answers, but I do have my ability to ask since they didn`t take that away from me. My gift is to give back what I got to show my appreciation and gratitude. I`ll promise to give as much as I got with the warmth of this truth energizing me forever.

Who knows? One day one of them might feel as touched as me when I stretch out my hand and they take it. What if they one day get the chance to think like I do? In an integrative blender my thoughts and feelings have intermingled until this simple truth came out: If this isn`t nice, then I don`t know what is.

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Year

Sugababes – Sound Of Goodbye

High suicide rates

Psychology Today

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Kindness to a stranger

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How do you approach a conflict? We all know how hard it can be to keep our heads cold in a situation where the best approach would be to not retaliate when slighted. Our emotions often run wild, and in these situations we often attack rather than draw back. We see this tendency everywhere, even in politics

This doesn`t mean that we always act in destructive ways: Sometimes kindness replaces hate and fear.
I am a clinical psychologist with an idea I will work the rest of my life for
I have , through a life with both good and bad, learnt to dream, and have started my own utopia: Kindness to a stranger. The idea is simple: I`ll ask if people will be willing to do just one kind act towards a stranger every week, and interview all kinds of people.


My hero Ellert Nijenhuis has already agreed to the interview next week.


true world


Want to help yourself? Feel free to share this post, and if you really want to do something that might help, feel free to do a one-minute interview on your computer where you say what you think about kindness. You can include stories of kind acts, or even talk about the drawbacks with an idea like this. There will be a competition too, with 500 euros in the pot for those joining the kindness group and following the event

Why be kind

Let`s change the world: Background

My plan is to interview people about kindness. I have already contacted people willing to be interviewed, and some have already been interviewed. For people who`d like to say something about kindness, they are welcome to send their contributions to forfreepsychology@gmail.com. 


Random Acts of Kindness

Vicky L.

Random Acts of Kindness / by Vicky L.

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The plan is to contact media and to write a book about it all, the following months. 

 
 

The book will include kindness stories, and focus on psychological knowledge related to why kindness works. I have already contacted some famous people enthusiastic about the idea, and will continue to do so whenever I get the change. According to Steven Pinker, this is the time to act. We need to change our habits, and we can all do it by finding a slot in our calendar (five minutes is enough) that we dedicate to kindness.Maybe your kind act will inspire others?

– Trauma and DissociationWordPress.com

Own Your Personality

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There’s something about myself it took me a while to understand.

When I read my enneagram personality profile (number 1), I knew most of it was pretty spot on. I’m a perfectionist with high standards and morals. There was one thing I didn’t get though: this reformer and advocate stuff. What was all that about?

Detailed freak and nit-picky perfectionist is me to a T, but reformer? Me? I always thought of myself as passive, a follower, someone who doesn’t rock the boat, and the most cautious person in the world. So, the image of reformer I had in my mind didn’t match up with what I knew about myself.

But over the years I’ve come to understand this side of myself more and can see how I really am a reformer, in spirit if not in action – yet.

See, with my high standards and morals, they are most definitely for me (I’m my own worst critic and place higher standards on myself than others) but I’ve always thought others should have high moral standards too. I never impose my standards on others so that’s why I thought I wasn’t much of a reformer. But my desire is for others to have high moral standards because I believe the world would be a better place with them – if everyone treated each other with compassion and respect, for example, I can’t see anything bad there.

I’ll never impose my standards on others, but I’m ever hopeful that everyone would have the morals of looking after each other and caring for the world we live in.

See, I believe in people. And my desire to see people be all they can be, to live their dreams, and to treat each other well is something that has always been in me. I want all people to know they are worthy. I want all people to show others that they are worthy.

What the enneagram did for me was articulate something I always had in me that I didn’t fully understand. I don’t really know why I believe in people despite all the horrible things people can do, but it seems that it’s in my personality to believe in them no matter what. Because I do. Not everyone has this relentless belief in all people, especially when the evidence suggests otherwise, and I’ve sometimes felt guilty about my belief. But I still can’t help what I believe.

With this understanding, I’ve been able to embrace this part of my nature and things just seem that little bit clearer in my life. I’m becoming more intentional and active in what I believe about people and it’s given me an even bigger sense of purpose and a feeling of this is part of what I’m meant to do.

I love it when people own their personality – which can only come from understanding it and using it for good. I’m owning this reformer side of my mine.

This is just another example of how understanding personality through the tools of personality tests/profiles has helped me.

I’ll always advocate the personality test because I believe it can help people. And I believe in people!

Attitude and Perspective Matters

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The attitude and perspective we have has a big effect on our emotions, ability to learn, and ability to succeed.

I’m a terrible actress. I don’t like people’s eyes looking at me, I don’t like being on stage, I hate public speaking, I’m terrible at improvisation, and I go blank. But every year I  have to act at least once at a family holiday program I’m part of. I get very nervous and anxious during rehearsals and just before going on stage if I have a large speaking role. (If I can be a clown or someone who mimes, I have a ball on stage!)

But there was one year I had a large speaking role that I had to memorize. I was freaking out! One of my friends heard me mutter that I couldn’t do it over and over. He did the best thing. He had me stop muttering and had me focus on him.  He said with authority that if I told myself I couldn’t do it, I stopped myself from succeeding right there. When he told me this I knew he was right. I defeated myself with my own perspective and attitude. I had to change it. I didn’t feel any better about it and I didn’t know if I could do it, but I knew I had to stop thinking I couldn’t do it.

I stopped telling myself I couldn’t do it and just focused on remembering the words. And guess what, I delivered the monologue to a T.

I was with an older person today and he’s not very computer literate. The whole time we were talking about computers he said he couldn’t do it and that he’d never figure it out. He got angry at the rate of changing technology, blaming it for the problems he faced with it.  But instead of getting angry, I thought all he needed was a change of perspective and attitude. Instead of wasting all that energy thinking he’d never get it and being angry over it, he could use that energy to really focus and learn the new technology.

I think part of the key is to stop focusing on how bad things are and how much you don’t like them. I don’t like acting, this guy didn’t like new technology. They are difficult things for us that we have to get used to. But there’s no point getting worked up about it and fighting it trying to get your own way. Separate yourself from it a little and get a different perspective. Embrace it with a different attitude. Learn what you need to know. It might be hard and a lot of work, but try.

Having the right attitude and perspective means you’ll have the discipline, commitment and focus to at least give it your best go.

I have a friend who was never any good at school and hates studying. The problem is she can’t get anywhere with the career she wants without studying. I think she can study and get to where she wants to be, but she thinks she’s a lost cause in that area. She’s defeated herself right there. She doesn’t even want to try, because her attitude and perspective won’t let her.

To give it a go, get the right attitude and perspective.

You might not be able to do whatever it is you want and/or need to do, but if you tell yourself you can’t do it from the start, it’s certain that you won’t be able to do it.

How’s your attitude and perspective? I think I have to check mine in a few areas.

Some Things I Learnt in 2013

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I’ve been on a bit of a blogging hiatus. But I’ve done lots of thinking and metacognitive analysis as usual, so I’ve got a bunch of things I’ve learnt throughout last year about how I work.

Here’s a quick summary of some of the things I’ve learnt:

  • As the duty fulfiller (MBTI) I love working hard but when I’m given so much work that I can’t keep up with, I get overwhelmed and start to let things slip because it’s all to much and I know I can’t do the job to the standard I want to. I’m a 100% or 0% type person. If I can’t put 100% into something, I don’t want to do it. I feel guilty if I can’t do the job the best I can, but I also feel guilty if I let things slip. My nature, then, is to simply keep going. When I hit this roadblock last year and was letting things slip, I resolved to just keep at it. I shared what I learnt with a friend and she had a “Whoa” moment from it because she realized she was the same. And now she’s made steps to “do something” instead of doing nothing at all. Because sometimes it’s better to do something than never do anything.
  • Again, as the duty fulfiller I love putting my all into my work. And when I can’t put my all into my work, I get very frustrated and feel burdened. My friend who puts her all into caring for people gets very frustrated and burdened when she can’t love people the way she wants to. We feel the exact same way about different things. I love how we’re all so different! We both have to learn not to place such high expectations on ourselves to ALWAYS be and do everything we want to be and do in the particular areas we care most about. Otherwise we’d be miserable whenever we couldn’t live up to our standards.
  • I learnt that I really am an advocate as the type 1 (Enneagram). I never really saw it in me but I finally worked out that it fits. I feel lost if I don’t have any meaning, and a big part of where I get meaning from is having a focus outside of myself. This means not just doing things I enjoy all the time but doing things that also give something back to people around me. The key for me is to find things that are both for me and others and also to find things that I believe in. This has helped a lot in giving me direction in life.
  • Knowing about my advocate nature, this has helped me realize that I need a filter for life. A filter that tells me what I should say yes and no to. A filter that tells me what I should spend my time, money and energy on. This way, goals can be met quicker, waste is avoided and there is a clearer meaning and purpose in life, both in the bigger picture and in the everyday.

So, this is only a snippet of the things I’ve learnt but I’ll write about the other things in other posts. And, of course, I’ll always be learning more! It’s a lot of fun!