Propaganda vs. net neutrality: Rethinking about how I take in information. YouTube, advertising, social media, and T.V

Is propaganda evil? Some people can’t handle the truth. Some people like this feeling of ignorance because ignorance makes sense. Ignorance makes clear good guys and bad guys and for some people it is a much better world then the scary, chaotic, world we really live in. Let other people who want to think about that awful stuff deal with it. I’ll be a good puppet.

It’s why women won’t admit it but somewhere inside at some part of your life you wished you could have lived the simple life of a house wife. Sure it is boring but if you picked the right man to lead you it would be a safe, reliable…home. Yes women have more rights but they also have more responsibilities. They now are expected to take on the burden of thinking for the group. Well let’s hope they feel that way because there are those people who want to want to make a difference and the people who like power for power’s sake. Power monsters are people masquerading as your ally but really are only looking out for their own and will exclude anyone else they deem. “Other”.

Let me explain about identification of any one ideology is not inherently evil but when you define yourself my one sole identifier your making and handing over your own puppet stings to someone else. There is not one person who fully and completely represents an ideology. Each of us are first and foremost are ourselves. 

Propaganda isn’t the root of all evil, ego is the real enemy. We have not evolved our brain enough to comprehend every person we meet as an individual so in order try to understand are complex environment we group people by size, sex, age, religion, nationality. We start identifying with some of these groups and thus traditions are passed on while others excluded. We can not yet fully think of each and every one of us as human. But I believe that day will come. It will be the day that we truly accept one another, lay down our arms, and embrace one another. In fact I think that day will come sooner than expected in large part for the same reason you can read these words.

The Internet will set us free if we let it which is why out of all the horrific and life altering events of our time, net neutrality is the single most important issue of our time. The voice of the many can become the voice of one if we can talk to each other. In the past physical distances bred disconnection from one another but now we can finally embrace. I will embrace you bothers and sisters, I only hope you will do return the embrace. Stop being lead by fear. Hope feels so much better and is a much more powerful motivator. Happy new year everyone.

Thanks for reading and let me know your views on propaganda vs. net neutrality. If you enjoyed reading don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe to my blog!  To subscribe just enter your email into the box on the upper right. I post every Sunday at 8 AM pacific standard time!

Cheers,

Letters to Help

The goal setter vs the monk: when to work on fixing something in your life and when to know to let go

There are advantages and disadvantages to both lifestyles. Here I will talk about the pros and cons of both forms of living and talk about when to apply which method. Enjoy!

 

Pros of a Driven goal setting mindset

1.Feeling accomplished

There are few things that feel as good as making a goal, setting out to accomplish that goal, and succeeding. By constantly accomplishing goals you not only improve your own life you hopefully can help advance society in some small way.

2.Being able to support yourself and your family

The monk mentality may seem nice in theory but if you have a family to look after you need to pay the bills. Unfortunately, in order to live many of us need to give up our time. The goal driven process can greatly help with this. If your goal is to support your family you may have to work multiple jobs but after it’s all said and done you love your family and you love being that provider for them.

3.Finding your passion 

Without goals you will never be able to find out what you really want to do. Without a passion you can feel like your drifting through life without any real direction. For a lot of people goals help make sense of the world and help give purpose to there life.

4.Health 

One’s health is an important part to happiness. Goals can help you avoid unhealthy habits and give you the motivation to pursue habits which are not immediately satisfying but will provide long term happiness.

5.Knowledge

If your goal involves as certain level of education on a topic it can give you the motivation to stay up all night in order to understand a topic. A goal setting mentality can give you very important critical thinking skills which you can apply to a wide verity of problems in your life.

6.Pride 

Finally after completing hundreds of goals though the years you can start to develop a sense of pride. Pride, unlike arrogance, is not an inflated view of oneself but a strong sense that what you are doing in life is making a difference.

Cons of a Driven goal setting mindset

1.Stress

To much stress is a very common problem in first world countries. Even though first world countries have less important things to stress about then the rest of the world we still tend to stress out way more. Goals can blind us to the bigger picture in life. Goals can narrow are focus so much that we can forget about what we already have. Even when a determined person has everything they may not be satisfied because they get all of there pleasure from the feeling of personal growth. If they don’t feel like they are growing they feel like they are dyeing. A 100% determined individual can never truly appreciate the things they have in life.

2.Disappointment 

Goal setting can feel amazing so long as the goal eventually gets accomplished. However, what happens when the goal you set never gets done? What if the goal you want to accomplish is impossible? Disappointment can be crippling and can leave some physically unable to even get out of bed in the morning. Failing one goal can lead to a cascade of negativity that can even affect the goals you could have achieved. Goal setting people have a hard time giving up. This is both there strength and also there demise. Learning to let go is an important part of life and determined people have a hard time with this.

Pros of the Monk lifestyle

1.Self-reflection

Meditation involves calming both your mind and your body. Stillness is one of our most difficult states to be in. Self-reflection brings new meaning to ones life and can be a better tool for determining ones path in life then only setting goals.

2.Peace 

A driven person might never find peace because they are too busy looking outward for happiness when happiness can only be found by looking within. Peace is a type of euphoria which most have to travel great distances to achieve. For example, standing a top a mountain or sitting beside a quietly running stream. If there lucky peace will only be experienced by ambitious individuals for about a week out of the year.

3.Wisdom 

With today’s world in a constant state of motion great insight into one’s own contentiousness can be achieved. It is this time of self reflection that you can start to connect bits of knowledge together in much more complex ways then before. A concept you learned in math class might suddenly make sense when trying to describe your anxiety. Wisdom comes with self reflection.

4.Being able to let go 

While the monk will grieve when his friend dies it will not cripple him. Instead of suppressing his sadness he will learn to embrace it. When faced with a unsolvable problem such a death the determined individual breaks down completely. There whole life has revolved about problems and solutions. For the ambitious, when something tragic happens the first instinct will be to try to fix it. The monk will know that some things, while tragic, can not be fixed. You can spend your nights wishing that they were still alive but all this will do is give you more pain. You must be able to let go of that pain while still remembering them in your heart. Free yourself from the constant heartache, and try to move on.

Cons of the Monk lifestyle

1.Lack of purpose 

People spend there whole lives chasing a ball they may never catch but it’s better to fail then not try at all.

2.Lack of amenities 

If you want anything in life you’re going to have to work for it. This requires hard work and determination, qualities which are hard to come by when you are perfectly content with nothing.

Which way is better? 

It depends. You must first acquire knowledge and through knowledge wisdom can blossom. Only then will you be able to determine the difference between fixable and unfixable problems. When faced with a fixable problem you need to put your determined goal setting mode on. Only then will you be able to remedy the issue. However, there are times in life where the problem you’re facing is no longer fixable. These problems are best handled by the monk. He will understand how to accept and let go of the pain. He will understand that being sad all the time will not fix the problem and that happiness is a choice. The hardest part for most people is being able to be both the monk and the goal setting monster. Practice, time, and wisdom will help.

Thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts on the goal setter vs. the monk. If you enjoyed reading don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe to my blog!  To subscribe just enter your email into the box on the upper right. I post every Sunday at 8 AM pacific standard time!

Cheers,

Letters to Help

Why swimming is the best form of exercise

Sunset 13There are many ways to stay in shape such as lifting weights, running, or biking but swimming beats all of these forms of exercise many times over. Here are some of the advantages swimming has over all other forms of exercise. Enjoy!

1. A type of meditation 

When I am in the water and trying to go as fast as I possibly can there is no room in my brain for negative thoughts. My attention is focused on moving my arms and my legs as fast and as smooth as a possibly can. I could have had a bad day and all I can think about is all the times I messed up but swimming helps to quite those thoughts and allows me to enjoy the moment.

2. Relaxation 

One of the best parts about swimming is that you can make it as hard or as easy as you want to. Sometimes all you want to do is jump into the water and feel the ocean breathing. If you think looking at the waves can be relaxing imagine swimming in them. Plus, the experience of swimming in the ocean during the day can be vastly different from swimming at night. In day swimming you can watch as the sun reflexes off the water to give the water a simmering effect. You can also dive deep under the water in a pool and watch as the light is reflected off the bottom of the pool in a seemingly random but beautiful way. During night swimming the only sounds you hear are that of the water gently flowing this way and that. With only the moon and the stairs to give you light you may feel scared at first but soon start to embrace the isolation. Out here the world seems so far away and the sky so bright.

3. Lifelong habit

Unlike other forms of exercise swimming puts almost zero pressure on your joints, ligaments, or bone structure. This means that your 80-year-old self can still enjoy a good dip even when back problems or other health issues might be affecting other areas of your life. In fact, swimming is so amazing it is often used to rehabilitate patients suffering from physical handicaps.

4. A break

After only a few minutes in the water you completely forgot about all the problems in your life. There is something about water that makes the mind enter into a new way of thinking. No longer are you worried about realistically small issues in your life. Here in the water you can be at peace.

5. Confidence 

Swimming is the best way to burn calories. Swimming burns more calories  per hour because unlike running or biking swimming uses your whole body. You get your whole body in shape through swimming, including your lungs. You will notice that after some time training at the pool you can breathe easier. These added physical benefits translate into mental benefits such as confidence.

6. A challenge 

Setting goals and accomplishing them can be one of the most rewarding experiences of anyone’s life. The best part about swimming is that you get to set your goals and you can adjust your goals depending on your mood, physical ability, or time to commit to the task. You are your own boss. You set the hours and you get the rewards.

Thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts on swimming. If you enjoyed reading don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe to my blog!  To subscribe just enter your email into the box on the upper right. I post every Sunday at 8 AM pacific standard time!

Cheers,

Letters to Help

Controlling the cycles in our lives

Sunset 16Each of us has a series of patterns and habits that strongly influence our actions. These patterns are too often cyclical. One minute your following all the right habits and doing all the right things and the next you feel like nothing you do is right. Everyone goes through these events in our lives. They may be triggered by a death in the family or maybe even to birth of a family member. Either way, just because an event is negative does not mean it has to lead to you falling off the horse. It does not matter if that horse be exercising regularly, eating right, or more serious issues such as depression or a drug addiction. The point is we too often let events outside our control dictate the things we are in control over. If you get anything out of this post I hope you can begin to forgive yourself for all the times you were not as strong enough and try to draw strength from all the times you were. Here are a few tips on how to ride the roller coaster we call life.

1. Focus on the things that our in your control 

There are many things in this world that will try to bring us down if we let it. However, there are many more things that can lift us up so long as we are willing to look in the right places. When times are hard it can seem like your life is spiraling but that free fall does not have to end with you on the pavement. Ground yourself by trying to figure out what you can and can not change.

2. Figure out your triggers 

There are some people, habits, or even places that naturally lead us down somewhere we know we should not go. Figure out those things and stay as far away as possible from them. Find the things that trigger long-term happiness over short-term ones. Exercise for example can be grueling and even painful at times but will lead to increased happiness in the long run.

3. Self reflection can be the key

Exercise my not be your thing. That’s ok, you need to find what works for you. This means trying a bunch of stuff and seeing what works and what doesn’t. For example, some people find meditation can bring peace of mind but with others just boredom. Don’t let you ego get in the way of trying something new no matter how weird it may seem to you at the time.

4. Try to remember what got out of the last hard time in your life 

If it isn’t broken don’t fix it. Try to remember what worked for you in the past. This is one of the reasons your 20’s are the best and worst times of your life. You have no experience to fall back on when times are hard. This is one reason why the next tip is so important.

5. Try to find someone you can depend on 

Don’t tell me there is no one in your life because if that is the case you only have yourself to thank for that. Support groups are everywhere and there are even online hangout events now. I know it can be scary meeting new people but if you ever want to grow you will need good people beside you. That being said, having no friends is better than having the wrong friends. Putting your faith in the wrong people can be devastating so make sure to take a hard look at the people you call friends. Remember, one truly loyal and kind friend in your life is better than 1000 acquaintances.

6. Find something you believe in 

It doesn’t matter what god you believe in or if you even believe in a god but you must believe in something. If you’re a religious person this point might be obvious be I think too often atheists think believe is a weaker version of truth. Yes belief is letting go of facts but it does not make it any less important than truth. For example, belief that your 15-year-old (who is currently acting out) can still become a great man or women one day. The past events point to a life of delinquency but the parent knows better. You continue to love your son or daughter because you believe that one day they can be better. In reality they still might become nothing but by continuing to believe in your children you will give them the chance to turn their life around. As a parent that is all we can do for our children. If you give up on them they will surly give up on themselves.

Thanks for reading and let me know your common life cycles and how you overcome them. If you enjoyed reading don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe to my blog!  To subscribe just enter your email into the box on the upper right. I post every Sunday at 8 AM pacific standard time!

Cheers,

Letters to Help

 

How to build willpower

Sunset 17Willpower is not about how hard you can bang your head against a wall. Willpower is about having something inside that drives you to move through the hard times. Here are a few things that will help you improve your willpower. Enjoy!

1. Start with habits 

No one climbed a mountain in a signal step. Each step got them a little closer until they reached the top. Have a long-term goal but your focus should be on very short-term gains. Try to do one extra rep or run for 1 extra minute. Focusing in the short-term will make the task your trying to do less daunting. This mindset is how habits are formed my friend.

2. Write it down 

Get a calendar with all the things you want to accomplish and check them off by hand. The act of checking them off will give you a small bit of satisfaction that will help you continue the habit. Also, humans are very visual creatures so when we see a to do list it will remind us and motivate us.

3. Don’t be to hard on yourself

The best way to train any animal is with positive feedback. If they do the thing you want them to do you reward them. Hitting them or yelling at them rarely works and only makes the animal less likely to follow you around next time. Training your brain works the exact same thing. If all you’re doing is telling yourself how much you suck at doing something eventually your going to give up. Cherish the minor improvements and reward yourself for a good job. For example, if you’re doing well keeping your exercise routine reward yourself with a massage. You will enjoy it and it will speed up your recovery.

4. Have a goal 

If you were told to run all day without stopping you probably would slack off for part of it. After all, you are not trying to get anywhere you only have to run for a certain amount of time until you can stop. However, if instead I told you to run a marathon now you might be more concerned about the speed you are going and will probably end up going farther than you would have if I just told you to run for the day. The only difference in these two scenarios is the finish line. The finish line becomes your goal.

5. Have a purpose 

In the last scenario you may ask why on earth would you want to run that much anyway? What would be the point? Well what if instead of running for nothing I told you if you stopped running you would explode. Well now you know exactly why you are running and where you need to run too. You now not only have a finish line (a goal) you also have a purpose. In real life we sometimes do the things we do for all the wrong reasons. Find out what is important to you and use that as your anchor. What do you want to be and why? The first step in finding your purpose is always self-reflection.

6. Do not compare yourself to others, compare your future self to your past self 

There was a study that showed how the people who had the greatest satisfaction with their home were the ones with the best house on their block. It didn’t matter if the house was missing a roof so long as the house next to theirs didn’t have a roof or walls. Humans natural instinct is to compare themselves to the people directly around them but only if we are not self aware. If we can look within ourselves and see how far we have come it will not only bring us great joy but will also help us in trying to figure out our next mission in life. We all stumble in life but the important thing is to keep moving especially when we don’t want to.

7. Realize that nothing great is achieved without pitfalls along the way 

When we think of success most of us have this vision of constant growth, like a climber slowly but steadily climbing up a mountain. Unfortunately this scenario almost never happens. Just like there is not a mountain without valleys there is not a goal that can be achieved without some failure along the way.

8. Failure is either a learning tool or an excuse 

It is interesting to see what happens to people when times get hard. Some wallow in their failure and use it an excuse for greatness. Yet others learn from their mistakes and apply what they learned in future goals. I should note that the third response for some is to take their failure as a sign that what they were trying to isn’t working and so they redirect their efforts elsewhere. However, in this scenario it is still the one’s who remember their failures and use their failures like a road map that succeed in their next venture. No one is perfect and it is our flaws that make us beautiful.

Thanks for reading and let me know how you build willpower. If you enjoyed reading don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe to my blog!  To subscribe just enter your email into the box on the upper right. I post every Sunday at 8 AM pacific standard time!

Cheers,

Letters to Help

How to fail the right way

Sunset 19Failure can be hard to go through whether it be failure with relationships, failure with your career, or other areas. However, failure can be a leaning tool if you let it. Here are a few tips on how to turn a failure into a success. Enjoy!

1. Think of it as a learning exercise 

No one is perfect and we all make mistakes in life. The important thing is two own up to our mistakes and to learn to avoid them in the future.

2. Don’t take it too personally 

So things didn’t work out the way you were hoping. Don’t to too hard on yourself. While it is important to take responsibility for your shortcomings it is equity important to understand that there are forces in this world which are out of your control. These forces deserve to be acknowledged for what they are: not your problem. Don’t dwell on the things you can’t fix.

3. To avoid shame: share your failures with friends and/or family 

Failure is like fear, they both love the dark. Being ashamed of failure is normal but that shouldn’t stop you from sharing your failures with the people close to you in your life. If there good people they will not judge you. Telling them might even bring you closer. Let go of that shame by embarrassing your imperfections and admitting to yourself and your loves ones that you’re not perfect.

4. learn to forgive yourself 

It is normal to blame yourself and get angry at yourself for your shortcomings but in order to learn and grow from your failures you need to learn to forgive yourself. Low-self esteem will not change the past. If you really want to honor those you have let down show them just how much better you can become. Humans are not static. We change throughout life and it is up to you if you put one step forward or one step back.

5. Don’t let failure stop you from continuing to take risks 

Yes, bad things can happen when you take risks but so do good things. If you go through life worried about the next step all the time you will never really take from life all it has to offer. Don’t live life in a bubble.

6. Realize that no one is perfect and that failure is a part of life

Failure is what makes us human and what makes us beautiful. If you haven’t fallen on your face you never were really living. Fall down, dust yourself off and keep on keeping on.

7. Seek out people who can support you in this hard time 

Having a good support system is so important in this technological age. With all the online connections we can sometimes forget who is really important. If you have someone hold on to them and if you don’t seek out the right person. Most American’s feel lonely but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you seek help it will come.

8. Give yourself time to recover

Maybe you’re not able to get right back on the horse right away, that’s ok. Just make sure your taking small steps in the right direction. Don’t think about the destination. Think about putting one foot in front of the other and you will get there sooner than you think.

9. Be thankful for what you have

When times are tough it can be really hard to be thankful for anything, especially if something important to you is now gone. However, that kind of mindset will never let you move past your failures. Instead of thinking about what you don’t have anymore try thinking about all the things you still do have. Write those things down and keep that note in plain sight for you too see when times are hard.

Thanks for reading and let me know your plan for turning a failure into a success. If you enjoyed reading don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe to my blog!  To subscribe just enter your email into the box on the upper right. I post every Sunday at 8 AM pacific standard time!

Cheers,

Letters to Help

Why I plan to be a skateboarder for life

Sunset 22Skateboarding has been a part of my life now for a little more than 7 years and I can safely say I will be one of those old guys who still skateboards around. Here are some reasons why. Enjoy!

 

1. It makes me feel alive

The wind is in your face after a long hard day. The feeling of turning a corner as fast as your board will take you. These are the things that make life worth living. The risk may be higher but that makes it all the more fun.

2. Your hands are free 

There is noting like eating a sandwich while skateboarding. Plus if you have a package you have to deliver or a bag you can just carry it or get a backpack. Going down a hill with your arm’s stretched out wide… great times.

3. It’s a great exercise 

I skateboard to and from work. Combined I spend at least 30 minutes a day exercising. Tack that on to some stair walking and you got a real workout.

4. There is little to no maintenance on a skateboard

Sure you can replace the wheels or get new barring if you want to. These things might lead to a better ride but no matter what you will almost always be able to ride you skateboard no matter how much wear it has on it. This is due to the skateboard’s simple yet durable design. A skateboard is literally a board strapped with wheels . With most other modes of transportation they have increasing more complex designs making it more likely that something will fail. One popped tire will derail you.

5. You don’t need to spend time chaining up your skateboard everyday 

Bike’s might be quicker on long stretches but for short rides the time it takes to find and lock your bike can mean all the difference between being late or being right on time.

6. Skateboards are less likely to be stolen 

It is with you all the time. Additionally, most people know how to ride a bike but far fewer know how to ride a skateboard. Thus, if someone is stealing for transportation there much more likely to steal a bike. Finally, skateboards are far less expensive than a bike, making it a much less of an insensitive for someone to steal. Plus, most skateboards have some ware to them which the owner is proud of but a thief is most likely put off by.

7. Skateboards are much more mobile 

You can be a pedestrian at any time. Living right next to a big college I constantly have to go across a bumpy off-road pedestrian areas where it would be nearly impossible or illegal for a bike. This is not a problem with a skateboard. Simply hop off and walk it. With a bike you could walk it but it’s much more of a hassle weaving through crowds of people. With a skateboard it’s no problem.

8. I looked up to skateboarders when I was a child 

Every time I get on that board it reminds me of what I am capable of. I thought I would never learn to ride a skateboard. I tried several times when I was a kid but I could never get it down. Thus, growing up a really respected the people who could ride. It wasn’t until I finished high school that I finally mastered it but not without hundreds of bruises along the way. I worked for my skills. I put time, effort, and blood into it. I practiced until I got it right. Whenever goals in my life seem impossible I think back to my 10-year-old self and how he might feel about all that I have accomplished. Every time I get on that board I feel pride that I can be one of those skateboarders that I thought so highly of as a child. It gives me confidence in myself and hope for my future.

Thanks for reading and let me know why you love skateboarding. If you enjoyed reading don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe to my blog!  To subscribe just enter your email into the box on the upper right. I post every Sunday at 8 AM pacific standard time!

Cheers,

Letters to Help

How to quiet the voice that tells you your not good enough

Sunset 24We all have that voice in our head that tells us we are worthless. However, this voice only gets power over us when we listen to it. By following the below steps you can help yourself quite that voice that is holding back your career, love life, and/or overall experiences in life. Enjoy!

1. Identify the critic
 This is the most important point on this list. It is so helpful to be able to separate the voice in your head from who you are. Recognise that the critic is not you. In fact, it is very mean you most of the time. Being able to recognise when the critic is starting to influence your actions or how you feel about yourself can help reduce the power it has over you.

2. Tell yourself you are good enough aloud
Go to a mirror and tell yourself aloud “I am good enough. I can do (fill in the blank)”. Do this three times every morning. You will be surprised with the results.

3. What you’re experiencing is normal but few actually try to do something about it. This makes you special 
Everyone has the voice in their head. Don’t lay down and take it. Stand up to the voice. Argue with it. Fight it. Pound it into submission.

4. Listen to the voice critically 
Is what it saying a logical conclusion or is the voice fear based? There might be a thread of truth but most likely that small truth is holding up a massive lie your telling yourself. Being critical of your actions can be a good thing so long as you can separate the truth from the fiction.

5. Realize that motivation is not as cut and dry as you might think 
Understand the feed back loop of feeling unmotivated. You think you’re not good enough which makes you more unmotivated which in turn causes more self-doubt. You first break the cycle be recognising and acknowledging its existence. Realize that feeling bad for yourself will not help you. If you want something you have to go out and take it. This is where positive friends and/or family members can come in handy.

6. Try to find the root of why you think this way 
It could be because of a traumatic event at childhood. Maybe a friend, teacher, lover, or family member made you feel worthless. Recognise how wrong they were to make you feel that way but do not let hate control you. Instead realize that you are not that same shy little kid anymore. That you have things inside you which you know are good. Hold those things close to your heart.
 
7. Come up with a list of things that you are good at 
If your like most people you tend to think of all the things that you need to improve. Improvement is good so long as it comes with perspective. Recognise how amazing you already are and that these improvements will only add to your amazement. Before you seek to improve yourself think about all the things your already good at. Say them aloud. Sometimes having too many things to fix can be overwhelming. It’s therefore beneficial to step back and see just how far you have come already.
 
8. Understand why limiting the voice in you head is good for you 
We all know what happens to you if you let the voice control you. You see it most apparently looking back at people from you high school. There was an overwhelming number of people who did not care about school or their future. They only cared about feeling good right now. They blinded themselves because they felt they were not good enough. They didn’t try so that when they failed it would not hurt as bad. They could write it off as “well I don’t care anyway”. They were giving up before it’s over. Facebook those people. I guarantee their life sucks. Not because they were lazy or they weren’t smart but because they were afraid of trying. There laziness was only a byproduct of their fear of not being good enough.
Thanks for reading and let me handle the negative critic in your head.  If you enjoyed reading don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe to my blog at www.letterstohelp.com! I post every Sunday!

Cheers,

Letters to Help

10 Mistakes People Make When They Start Working Out

Sunset 32So over the years you have tried to get in the habit of working out but every time the habit fails to stick. It may not be your fault; you may be simply making some common mistakes which are preventing you from reaching your workout goals. Here are some of those mistakes which, if avoided, almost guarantees your workout success.

1. They have no solid purpose 
  • Are you working out to impress that guy or girl? To look good? Sure having a purpose to attract the opposite sex (or whatever you’re into) might work in your teens when you’re pumped full of testosterone and estrogen but once you start getting older you’ll notice how little you care about those kinds of things.
  • An example of a good purpose might be to improve your health, happiness, and well-being. A good purpose always has to be selfish. Workout for you, not anybody else.
2. They are trying to do too much too soon 
  • So let me get this straight, you want to go from not working out at all to working out hardcore every day for an hour? Ya good luck with that. A better way would be to ease yourself into working out. If you haven’t worked out in years? Start with something you think is easy. It could be as little as 10 minutes of walking a day. Once you feel comfortable start slowing increasing the time and intensity of your workouts.
3. They try to do it alone
  • I fall into this trap all the time. Find a group of people who you can rely on and can motivate you. Don’t have anyone to workout with? There are loads of online communities dedicated to exercise.
4. They are too critical of themselves 
  • This one is another which I really struggle with. So you didn’t workout today. So what? Forget about the past and focus on the present. No one is perfect so don’t try to be. Just do the best you can and forget about the rest.
  • If someone talked to you the same way that you talk to yourself you would probably punch that person in the face. Instead, talk to yourself like you would talk to a good friend.
5. They don’t mix it up
  • Don’t be one of those people who only uses the elliptical or only lifts weights. Mix it up! You’ll find that it’s a lot more fun and a lot better for you. It’s called muscle confusion and it rocks!
6. They pay too much 
  • Working out does not have to be expensive. Don’t have much money? Go to your nearest jungle gym. Additionally, there are loads of exercises you can do right at home with just your body weight. Push-ups and crunches are free and effective!
7. They don’t write it down 
  • Another one I struggle with. Ok here is what you do, get a calendar (or make one) and check off each day you did your workout. Make the calendar visible to you. Somewhere you’ll see it. I have mine on my door. The fridge is another good option. Trust me it will help.
8. They compare themselves to others 
  • So you have not been exactly taking care of yourself these last couple of years (maybe your whole life). That’s OK! Now is the time to start but don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to supermodels. Doesn’t matter your age, sex, or weight: YOU are BEAUTIFUL. Can’t do a push-up? That’s OK! Try doing a modified push-up on your knees until you have the strength. Don’t try to lift 200 lbs right out of the gate. Baby steps.
9. They don’t have fun 
  • Don’t like running on the treadmill? Then pick something you do want to do. Yoga, kickboxing, dancing. All of these are fun and all of these will kick your butt.
10. They’re afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone 
  • Try new things! Be ok with being bad at something! If you’re starting a new thing you’re expected to be bad. It’s normal and if you stick with it you will get better. Don’t let stereotypes limit your experiences. I am a straight heterosexual male whose two favorite workouts are yoga and the elliptical and no, it’s not because I like hitting on chicks. They’re fun to me! Reversely, if you’re a women don’t be afraid to lift!

Thanks for reading and let me know what workout mistakes you or someone you know has done. If you enjoyed reading don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe to my blog at www.letterstohelp.com! I post every Sunday!

Cheers,

Letters to Help

What to do when you wasted your whole day

Sunset 34The major emotion that floods the brain of someone who thinks they wasted the day away is regret which manifests itself in the form of guilt. We feel guilt because we think by doing so this will motivate us to do better tomorrow. However, what was the reason you never got out of bed? You tell yourself its laziness but we both know it’s something more.

It starts in the morning. We wake up and tell ourselves we have plenty of time to get done what we need to get done so why not spend a little more time enjoying our warm bed. Quickly 1 hour turns into 2 hours which turns into several. All the while we can feel in the back of our minds the slow onset of guilt. At the beginning of the day we might have even thought highly of ourselves but now we only think negatively.

Unfortunately this kind of negative motivation makes us seek out short-term happiness in the form of procrastination. Thus, the self loathing which we hoped would motivate us is actually the cause of further procrastination and suffering. We become trapped in a cycle unable to escape until the day is over.

This scenario is a very common and can be avoided. Here are some tips on avoiding wasting the day.

1. Let go of the guilt 

No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. The first thing we must do to prevent this from happening again is to change how we react to procrastination. Recognize that making yourself feel guilty is only making it worse. Stop and take a deep breath. Let go of all the stress in your mind and your body. Relax your body and try to keep your mind clear of negative thoughts. Changing your mindset is not easy and will take practice but with time you will learn.

2. Reflect on what made you stray from your goals 

Really think analyse your actions (in a guilt free way). Talk to your yourself truthfully but lovingly like you would and old friend.

3. Learn from this 

Postpone short-term happiness for long-term happiness. Don’t watch that movie in your bed when you wake up. Instead get up and go do the things you need to do today. Once your done come back and reward yourself by watching that movie. You will feel accomplished, enjoy the movie much more, and you will rid yourself of guilt.

4. Have a morning and evening routine and stick to it 

Exercise is a great way to start the day. It does not even have to be a long exercise. Just 20 minutes a day can have profound impacts on your productivity and overall happiness throughout the day. Another thing I like to do is meditate for 10 minutes every morning right when I wake up. I enjoy meditating at this time because when I first wake up I really don’t want to move and meditation is a good transition from sleeping to being active. Another rule I give myself is not allowing myself to surf the internet until I take a proper shower and brush my teeth. Finally, I reward my hard work in the morning by eating a big breakfast normally consisting of fruit and vegetables. Remember it’s ok if your breakfast isn’t super healthy every day. No breakfast is much worse than eating a bagel with cream cheese (my personal favorite)

5. At night make a list of things to do the next day

The length of the list is very important. A very common mistake I see with these lists is that they are way too long. Most likely the reason your having trouble getting your day started is because you feel overwhelmed with all of the things you have to do that day. Instead, pick 3 things that are most important for you to do. No more, no less. There is no point in making a list of 50 thins you need to do if you don’t get to any of them. Once you finish those things reward yourself for a job well done and feel proud of your accomplishments. Building that self-worth will help you tackle even greater obstacles in the years to come.

6. If nothing else works seek help 

Lack of motivation can be an indication of depression. Depression can be a serious but also treatable disease. With the right help you can move past this. Don’t feel ashamed of asking for help! 1 in 6 people suffer from depression and it is only the truly brave that are willing to seek help for it.

Thanks for reading and let me know what gets you out of bed in the morning. If you enjoyed reading don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe to my blog!  To subscribe just enter your email into the box on the upper right. I post every Sunday at 8 AM pacific standard time!

Cheers,

Letters to Help