The Importance of Having a Clear Vision

Note: This post was written over a span of several weeks, not because I was perfecting it, but because I either didn’t feel like writing or I got interrupted/distracted or sleepy. Hope it still makes sense! 🙂

Not gonna lie, life is pretty rough sometimes. Sometimes we might find ourselves in an extended slump during which we have no motivation or drive to “push through.” Maybe that’s how you feel right now regarding some long-term endeavor. Maybe you feel like all you want to do is give up, but you’re also torn knowing that if you quit, you’ll probably feel like a failure and consequently, that would be quite depressing.

Maybe that’s how I’m feeling right now. Actually, that’s exactly the case. Inwardly I’m a blob of discouragement and unmotivatedness, and quite frankly I feel depressed, as if there’s a deep hole in my heart. But this “hole” has visited me enough times in my life that I’ve somewhat learned how to handle myself in such times.

How did I end up showing up to my laptop to write this post when my whole inward being doesn’t want to do anything except feel sad?

Two things.

#1: PRACTICE – Or more like, it’s happened so many times in my life already that after experiencing it over and over again, I’ve found that some ways of coping/dealing with depressive episodes are far more effective than other ways. I’ve learned that no matter how terrible I feel, the feelings will not stay permanently. I’ve been practicing, based on my therapist’s suggestion, to “notice” or “acknowledge” those feelings, to recognize that, “oh look, there’s sadness paying me a visit, so I’ll say hello to it and then let it go,” similar to letting go of a balloon. In a sense it’s like you’re objectifying the feeling, though I still allow myself to feel the feelings rather than pretending they’re not there. It’s like, hey, I have this feeling and it’s there, and I won’t deny it because that’s the fact, but the feeling is just a feeling so I acknowledge that it’s hanging out here with me for now, but in the meantime I’ll keep doing whatever it is that I’m supposed to be doing. The more I do this, the more easy and automatic this “method” becomes.

#2: VISION – If you have a clear vision of something you’re working towards, and you can really SEE it to the point where it’s REAL to you, and you want it SO badly.. then that vision will be able to override your lack of motivation (the majority of the time), and it’s COMPLETELY OKAY to have occasional “off” days. The vision is THAT good, that even when you’re like, “I can’t get up from this comfy couch and I don’t feel like doing anything,” you’ll somehow still (perhaps slowly) get up from that couch and do something to get closer to your dream goal.

For some reason I somehow find myself writing more about depression on this blog than planned, so apologies for that. If you can relate at all, then great, and I hope my sharing can be of help to you. But if you can’t really relate much to depression and mental health struggles, that’s okay too. Regardless of our natural disposition, we all still need to find ways to get things done in life, especially us millennials.


Some days later…

I didn’t get to finish writing some days ago, so here I am again. Showing up to my laptop. Except this time I’m not feeling depressed at all and am finishing up this post at the end of a great day. (Didn’t actually finish the post that day..)

I also learned an effective secret yesterday, which I guess is now my not-so-secret secret. 🙂 This secret has gotten me way out of the realm of depression, sadness, anxiety, and restlessness. This “secret” – actually, I don’t know why I’m calling it a secret because it’s not something that needs to be kept from others to know about.

So this “tool” that I discovered over the past week is something that has revolutionized the past few days for me, and I believe the lessons learned here will also revolutionize the rest of my life.

It’s actually quite simple. I began to shift my attention away from myself, my problems, my worries, my discomfort, my unfulfilled desires, MY MY MY everything… and began to pay attention to the problems of those around me, but not in a critical sense at all.

What I mean is, I’ve been finding that what saves me from depression the most (besides meds and therapy) is helping and caring for others, thus redirecting my focus to something outside of me and my situation. I believe that human beings have this innate characteristic of finding fulfillment in making a difference in others’ lives. Just think about it.

That being said, I was told by my therapist that I shouldn’t always be “distracted” from the difficult things I’m going through, because in order to properly pass through the healing process, it is still necessary for me to take time to process everything, while not allowing myself to fall into the depression vortex.

So for the most part, focusing on other people or things is a healthy way to be distracted to the point where I can still experience the inevitable emotions for healing, without being overtaken by the stronghold of depression.

On another note, I’m also at a time of the month when PMS is no longer an issue. Pardon me for being TMI. Just telling it as it is, because I don’t want to sugarcoat anything I write here. So granted, my stabilized hormones has probably also contributed to my improved well-being.


Even more days later…

I just went back and added some more writing above to fill in some gaps.. now my brain is tired after trying to put into words some of the complicated ideas in my brain.

 

 

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How to Feel Motivated When You’re Feeling Down and Low Energy [PART 1 of 3]

A couple nights ago one of my best friends sent me a text suggesting/asking that I write something about how to feel motivated when you’re down and low energy – the title of this post. “My current life problem,” she added.

My response to her: “I’m definitely not an expert at that one.”

Yup, not an expert at all, so I can’t solve your problems. However, I do have some perspective and can share what I’ve learned through my own experience and what I’ve observed of others.

There are three parts to what I’ll be sharing, which are three different ways to look at this issue of motivation – two “extremes” and one “normal.” The three different ways of looking at it depend on the person and the situation.

Extreme #1 – Self Discipline

This may be self explanatory because we’ve been taught either in school or by our parents that we need to have self discipline in order to succeed in anything. Self discipline means you have self control. You’re strict with yourself.

This does not have anything to do with the feeling of motivation at all. Self discipline means you do whatever you need to do regardless of how you feel. I consider this an “extreme” approach/view of what to do when motivation is lacking.

You can easily say, “Well duh, just work hard and you’ll succeed.” Not feeling motivated? Well, then get your act together and work on your character and work habits. Stop being so lazy!

Blah blah blah. Yes, you can say all this to someone or someone can say the same to you, but my guess is that more likely than not, hearing this kind of talk will not solve anyone’s problem. It’d probably just make you feel condemned and angry. Then you may very well just give up on life all together.

Okay I’m being extreme here, but then again, I did label this section with the word “Extreme.”

HOWEVER, there is truth to the positive benefits of self discipline. If we lived by our feelings all the time, and only operated when we felt like it, I’m not sure if we would have been able to graduate from any kind of school. I mean, WHO wants to do homework and take standardized tests that measure the kind of intelligence that is favored by the long established academic system?

I also have never heard of a CEO or any other ridiculously successful person who only worked when the feeling of motivation was strong and present. The reality is, no one on earth was born with the gift of 24/7 motivation. That just doesn’t exist. And none of us would have gotten to where we are today without some self discipline.

In brief…

Self discipline means being able to do things even when you don’t feel like doing them.

This has been one of the hardest but most helpful lessons I’ve learned in life thus far, being someone who was born with an emotional personality. It’s a lesson we ALL have to learn. Don’t feel like going to work today? Well then, be prepared to be fired if this behavior continues.

It’s harsh but it’s true. So yes, this is one extreme of the spectrum of how to view motivation, or lack thereof.

Stay tuned for the other two parts to this blog post, Extreme #2 and Normal

My 5-Minute Blog Post on Relationships

Hi. So it’s late here in LA and I want to go to sleep but I must fulfill my responsibility of writing a blog post so here I am.

Relationships. Well I just got out of one at the end of November 2017, and since then I’ve reflected a lot and have had many realizations. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned a lot about myself and about males.

If you want to be in a successful relationship, you have to have the maturity for it. That means that you have to already have your own adult life in order before getting serious with anyone.

Otherwise you enter into an unhealthy codependent relationship, or you become too needy or clingy because you haven’t figured out what makes you happy and fulfilled as an individual.

You need to stop dreaming about being in a relationship and take care of fulfilling your own life dreams first. Then whatever relationship you’re in it will be much smoother than if you haven’t learned to be single person.

That’s all I have and it’s just about 5 minutes now.

Learn to be a happy human being on your own. Don’t depend on someone else to make you happy. Otherwise you will suffer very much in the long run.

Also, you need to make sure the one you’re in a relationship with is stable and mature enough as well. Or else one of you will end up taking on a parent-like role.

Ok good night y’all.

Why There’s No Need to Worry About Anything

Recently I’ve found myself telling certain loved ones not to worry, followed by a certain kind of reasoning behind these words of “wisdom.”

Unfortunately this so-called wisdom of mine came out of lessons learned from my old lifestyle of worrying, making my life miserable and unbearable, and wasting a lot of my time being anxious and/or depressed when I could have been doing something much more productive or rewarding.

But we live and we learn. Not worrying is one of the most helpful lessons I’ve learned in life, but I would say though, that it does require training yourself to have this kind of mindset, especially if being carefree has been the opposite of what your life has looked like to this date.

There’s a song written by someone I know that says “To worry is vain.” I can testify to the truth of this statement. I worried myself from childhood to adulting-hood, because I was born with the kind of personality that takes everything too seriously. I guess you can call me a sensitive soul. And for some reason that just reminded me of The Lion King.

“Hakuna matata” – it means no worries. Doesn’t that sound pretty good?

I’ve worried about the kind of birthday present to get for a friend. I’ve worried about the possibility of not being able to find a parking spot in Los Angeles. In high school I worried about what college I would get into. In college I always worried a lot when I had papers to turn in and finals to take. Then I worried about what I would do after college. I’ve also worried about where I would go for Thanksgiving dinners. And I’ve worried many times about what my next meal was going to be. #youngadultproblems #maybeitsjustme #eatallthehotcheetos

I worried about the need for me to get surgery upon graduating college (and turns out it went very smoothly). I worried about offending other people, so I was often way too self conscious to be able to speak to someone normally for fear of saying the “wrong” thing.

I was very worried about what my dad would be doing when my parents were going through a divorce. So much so that I spiraled myself downward into a black hole of depression. All it took was my mind and the thoughts I allowed myself to engage in. Yes, the situation sucked and it definitely hurt, but in retrospect I would say that some of the pain could have been mitigated by even a slight shift in my thought process. All the “what ifs” I worried about never helped with anything.

Then there were the adult things I worried a lot about. Finding a place to live. Finding a job so I could pay for rent. Finding love so I could get married and have a family. Finding a way to make my serious (but seriously unhealthy) relationship work. And I worried too much about how each dinner date would go with my unpredictable ex, whether he would be happy to see me, or whether he would be aloof and not really want to be there… Aaaand I definitely should’ve recognized all the red flags earlier in that relationship.

But we live and we learn.

I worried about how much it would hurt if my ex fiance (basically) dumped me. I worried that I would never be able to open my heart to someone again. I worried that I would never be able to love anyone else. I worried about having a “second love” cause someone else already took the first.

Then I worried about how I was supposed to get rid of all my stuff in order to pack only three suitcases to move back home to be with my mom. Somehow the moving process all worked out just fine.. but I had already used up so much time and energy worrying about what the moving process would be like.

Then I started to worry about having to start my life all over again at age 27, single and unemployed, because I’m already “so old.”

To make a long story short, recently things started to click in me. As I began to find joy in the little things in life, my mental health began to improve, thus improving my entire well-being, body, soul, and spirit. And one day I kind of stopped and thought, wow, I can’t believe I’m happy. And after much reflecting I had a realization that there was somehow a shift in the way I looked at things in life.

I realized that I didn’t have to worry as much as I did about the possibility of breakup with my ex fiance, because looking back I can see that I was rescued from a disastrous marriage. I knew in my mind that what happened really was for the best and that I would eventually heal over time. I seriously believe that somehow, my positive outlook on this difficult life event has had some positive chemical/hormonal health benefits.

By the way, I’m not saying that worrying is equivalent to taking care of your important day to day responsibilities, and I’m not saying that there will be no pain when things are hard. Human life has many ups and downs and complications, and things will not always go our way. But one thing I’ve learned is how to let go and keep on going forward without letting my mind give heed to avoidable pessimistic thoughts.

Worrying is like a thief coming to steal your most valuable possession: time. But really though, worrying about anything just takes away your precious time, and being that person who worries all the time benefits no one, neither you nor the ones around you. I’m pretty sure others would prefer to be around someone who is less stressed out and uptight about everything.

So today, when my mom was describing to me her ongoing difficulties with major T-Mobile complications, I didn’t know how to comfort or help her except to say (lovingly.. I think) that worrying about it will not make the situation better. Rather, worrying only makes your life more miserable. There’s this song I know that says “everything’s the best that it could be.” And I feel that’s the best way to look at any situation.

There really is no need to worry about anything. Your life does not need the addition of unnecessary pain and suffering. Life is too short to worry. I don’t know about you, but I want to be happy and enjoy the time I have here on the earth. And don’t worry, I will still be a responsible human being, just a happier one. Better than being a responsible worrisome human being. 😉