Fuck willpower. Let go instead #happiness #quora

Sometimes on Quora I find gems of insight and Daniel’s response below (to ‘What was your red pill realisation?’) is one of those. I’ve been beating myself up forever about not having enough willpower to achieve my goals (which I also was confused about). If only I had enough willpower! Well, as I have discovered, the secret all along has been to let go, shed and start from scratch, start by taking a step back, by understanding, finding and accepting yourself. Goals and their fulfilment will follow, no willpower required.


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Spring! #happiness

There is that first weekend when it’s not yet spring but already bright and warm for the first time since November. And the scarf is suddenly too much and the shoes are ok. I spot first snow drops, stubborn daffodil stalks are piercing dry (dry!) soil, birds are singing and sunsets are basking in warm glow colouring everything in soft pink hues.

This is it! Spring is coming. Fresh abundant smells tantalise the nostrils. Everything, everything promises hope! Colours are brighter, nights are longer, nip in the air is gone for good. And that week of snowmageddon when everything was at standstill, plans were abandoned and everyone had bad fever or cabin fever is gladly over. Goodbye grey dull days and dark freezing nights and purple stiff toes and dry skin! Goodbye fireplace fires and radiator hugs and gloves and rich winter soups and heavy boots! Goodbye extra weight and hibernation. I am full of energy and overwhelmed with excitement.

Like nature I wake up in spring. Energy is surging and I feel like jumping to the sky and screaming Bring It On! I am not good with winters. I die a little bit. But I survived. Again. And I am back. And I am looking forward to long nights, warm breeze, garden chairs, cold drinks, light dresses, big dreams, friend hugs and smiles, smiles everywhere.

I am now unstoppable. I love you, spring!!!


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Helping others – Be My Eyes app

Thanks to Apple App Store newsletter, I found out about and immediately volunteered with Be My Eyes – an app connecting blind and visually impaired people with sighted volunteers. I myself have a bad eyesight and was at a point in my life several times where I could become visually impaired. It feels good to be finally doing something, no matter how small, for this cause. And I had my first call already! Here is a video from a creator of an idea for this app, very inspirational.

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Mission self love – does the shoe fit? #happiness

I can’t believe that I have been wearing size 5 shoes for so long while being size 4,5. Once we moved to a place where I had to walk a considerable distance across the country side, I have become aware of the poor fit – my feet hurt, it felt uncomfortable and walking became a problem. I also realised that all these years I lived knowing that I wore shoes in the wrong size and yet tolerated it. Why was I ok with it? Why would I not buy shoes in the right size?

Practically speaking I was an urban dweller in my previous life and so I did not need to walk for too long. Also it is easier to buy shoes in a full size and the choice of styles is bigger. Style mattered more than comfort (so no walking boots). But most importantly I thought that the ill fitting shoes were ok, that it was worth the pain, that it was good enough. Once I tried size 4,5 shoes (thank you, Clarks), I could not believe the comfort, the fit, the ease of walking. But I still continued to wear mostly shoes in size 5. I looked for lifehacks, for example I put in soles to improve the fit. Improvement was marginal. Mad, right?

And then just like that while exploring self compassion (aka self love) this year I decided I had enough. I deserve the best. I deserve that my shoes fit. I am embracing my true shoe size and I am not going to settle for anything less. I am only going to get what is best for me.

This story is about shoes but shoes are also a metaphor. How many of us are wearing the ‘wrong shoes’ – at work, in relationships, in life, not being authentic, putting others before us, settling for ‘good enough’, lying to ourselves and the world and living the lie? Have you outgrown your job? Are you not into the person anymore? Do you hate where you live? Have you had enough of ‘ill fitting shoes’?

It’s a big first step to pause and notice that you have the ‘wrong size shoes’ on. Think – why are you doing this? Do you think this is what you deserve? If you were advising somebody else in the same situation, would you advise them to settle for what they’ve got even if it’s wrong for them? The second big step is to do something about it. I just ordered a pair of size 4,5 walking boots.

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Can seeking happiness be an actual purpose to life? #quora

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Original thread here. Have a nice weekend!

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Advice I would give my 20 year old self #happiness

On Quora there are plenty of Q&A along the lines of ‘looking back, what would you advise your 20 year old?’  I think I finally have the answer and it’s not ‘eat less sugar and floss daily’ (though this advice would have saved me tens of thousands of pounds in dental costs which I could have invested in passive fund and retired by now). My advice to my 20 year old self is not to look for yourself in other people. Not to run around looking for love as desperately as I did. The lack, the gap can only be filled by finding yourself, by discovering who you are and by falling in love with yourself.

There are 5 tips to finding yourself that worked for me:

  1. Understand your strengths and your values
  2. Be honest with yourself and others
  3. Learn to love yourself
  4. Let go of expectations and beliefs that are not yours or hinder you
  5. Find peace, find balance

More on loving yourself in later posts – this has been the central theme for me lately. I leave you with a poem by Charles C. Finn which I learned about in the Tiny Buddha‘s Guide to Loving Yourself book and reblog from Life In Light Of Eternity. Be yourself.

Don’t be fooled by me.
Don’t be fooled by the face I wear,
For I wear a mask, I wear a thousand masks,
Masks that I am afraid to take off,
But none of them are me.

Pretending is an art that’s second nature to me.
But don’t be fooled
I give you the impression that I am secure,
That all is sunny and unruffled with me,
Within as well as without,
That confidence is my name and coolness is my game,
That the water’s calm and I am in command,
And that I need no one.

Don’t believe me, please!
My surface may be smooth,
But my surface is my mask,
My varying and ever-concealing mask.
Beneath lies the real me,
In confusion and fear,
In loneliness.
I idly chatter with you in the suave tones of surface talk.
I tell you everything that’s really nothing,
Of what’s crying within me.
So, when I’m going through my routine,
Please don’t be fooled by what I’m not saying,
And what I’d like to be able to say,
But what I can’t say.

Only you can call me into aliveness,
Each time you’re kind and gentle and encouraging.
Each time you try to understand because you really care,
My heart begins to grow wings,
Very small wings, very feeble wings, but wings.
With your sensitivity and sympathy and your powers
of understanding,
You can breathe life into me, I want you to know that.
I want you to know how important you are to me,
How you can be a creator of the person that is me if you choose to.

Please choose to.
Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.
My long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach to me, the blinder I may strike back.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls.
In this lies my hope,
My only hope.

Who am I, you may wonder,
I am someone you know very well-
I am a hurting member of your family,
I am the person sitting beside you in this room,
I am every person you meet on the street.
Please don’t believe my mask,
Please come behind it to glimpse the real me.
Please speak to me, share a little of yourself with me,
At least recognize me.
Because you care.

Continue reading

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For those who loved and lost… ‘Anything worth doing is worth doing badly’

Susan Cain is a bestselling author and co-founder of Quiet Revolution. I mentioned her before on the blog as a person who is making introversion ‘normal’. In one of her recent posts she shared Jack Gilbert’s poem below ‘for those of you who have loved and lost: your love was still magnificent’.

The poem is not just beautiful but also perspective shifting. That break up, unrequited love or lost friendship that you are reminiscing about – stop beating yourself up. You loved. You did the best you could, you ripped your heart out and you showed your vulnerable, naked self to the world. It does not matter what happened next – ‘anything worth doing is worth doing badly’. Let’s keep repeating this mantra until our memories are reframed from pain, loss and darkness to love, light and achievement.


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