Category: Positively Positive

The 20 Habits of Eventual Millionaires


I read book after book but the advice seemed awful. And even the advice that was clearly good (“eat better”) there was almost zero chance I would follow.

I don’t know how to take good advice. I don’t know how to give it. And all of this talk about “habits” seems beyond me.

I was all alone with no one around to police the spill of my primitive desires.

Trapped in that nightmare world between: “If only this had happened” and “if this happens, I will be a success” without thinking that right now is when things can be different.

The negative things I was doing were weighing on me, causing me anxiety, stress, darkness, draining me of energy, and I refused to take responsibility for them.

So I tried something. Happiness is when you do good things for yourself, but do them just a little each day – else disappointment and failure.

Every day I’d take a random habit that I knew was good (see the attached 20 below) and I’d try to improve it a little. Just “1%”.

Following these habits was not about me. I didn’t see success in me.

I noticed I was impacting others when I followed good habits. A good habit is the pebble dropped in the ocean that ripples out to every shore.

Each habit compounds over time. Each habit is a super power.

Self worth is a myth. We’re in this together. Our actions are the impact everyone else feels.

Be the person that everyone remembers.

These 20 habits are the seeds. You plant them, you water them, some grow, you grow, everyone grows. I only know this because I had to do it.

The 20 Habits of Eventual Millionaires

1. Say “No”

When you say “NO” you have more time to read, learn, sleep, ask questions, contact friends, love life. Say “no” more.

2. Love

This is the only religion. This is the only thing worth surrounding to. This is the fuel for your ideal muscle

3. Make Mistakes

Mistakes are the spell books of success. Study them hard. Learn their incantations. When muscled tear they rebuild

4. Plant seeds

Basic garden math: 1% of seeds turns into 50% of the flowers. Plant lots of seeds

5. Be around people who are kind to you and love you

Other people will make you unhappy, unkind, and unsuccessful.

6. Stand next to the smartest person in the room

Harold Ramis did is (Bill Murray). Steve Jobs did it (Steve Woznick). Craig Silverstein did it (Who? Larry Page). Kanye West did it (Jay-Z). I make money only when I do this/

7. No excuses

Blaming is draining. Camplaining is draining. Explaining is draining. We don’t have enough inner plumbing for all that draining.

8. Don’t be in a rush

Every overnight success I’ve spoken to. Took 10-20 years to get there. But ONLY if the celebrated small success along the way.

9. Solve difficult gratitude problems

If you can find a diamond in the mud, you’re going to end up with a lot of diamonds in life.

10. Warren buffet’s 5/25 rule

Make a list of the 25 things you want to do in life. Now foo the top 5. And NEVER THINK ABOUT THE OTHER 20 EVER AGAIN. Else they will take time away from the 5 that are most important to you

11. Write down 10 ideas a day

This actually turns into a super power. Do this for six months straight and see what happens.

12. Follow up

I’m shy and bad at this. And lazy. Send on email the next day with an idea on the next step. I have to do this.

13. Ask questions

There are more questions than answers opportunities are buried in the questions. Facts can be outsourced.

14. 1% a day

Whatever you want to get better at: do 1% more each day. 1% a day, compound, is 3800% a year. You win.

15. Right now

Regret will waste time today worrying about yesterday. And anxiety will steal energy from the future. Focus on right now.

16. Sleep

Sleep rejuvenates brain cells, heals the body, reduces anxiety. And your brain is only active 2-5 hours a day. Sweet dreams.

17. Every day, avoid death

You can’t get rich from a hospital bed. Or a grave. More every day, sleep well, eat well.

18. Do one thing every day you loved as a kid

This is usually the fuel that can power your life.

WAIT – I thought you said there were 20?

Secret to success…

Give yourself permission to be wrong.


James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Image courtesy of Leah Kelley.

Impact and Inspiration: A Running Story of How Everyday Heroes Influence Lives


With the recent Tokyo Olympics, I feel especially moved to share recent meaningful stories of how everyday heroes in the running community have impacted and inspired my life.  

Let me introduce myself. My name is Claudine Nicholas. I’m a 53 year-old marathon runner. I’m not a handicapped athlete, but I am a challenged athlete. For 30 years, I’ve had lupus SLE, a chronic autoimmune disease with no cure. I also have fibromyalgia and six damaged discs in my neck and back. Despite the odds and the outlook of my doctors, I’m working to achieve some incredible running goals and to make lupus history in the next year or two. I’m on schedule to complete half marathons and full marathons in all 50 states during the summer of 2022. I was going to earn the Abbott World Marathon Majors 6 Star medal in 2020 until the pandemic hit and changed the timeline. Now I will earn the coveted 6 Star World Marathon Majors medal in either 2022 or 2023, depending on when the Tokyo marathon organizers allow international runners back into their race.

Along this running journey, I’ve been helped and encouraged by so many other runners with far more challenges than myself.

They have imparted strength and hope without ever knowing their impact. Just this past December, I was running three full marathons in eight days. It was the first time I had ever attempted this. After the second marathon, I had the Mt. Everest of blisters on my left heal. It was so bad that I couldn’t even put on a shoe, so I showed up for the third marathon in slippers.

At the beginning of day two of the Texas Double, I met Evelyn Smith, a 60-year-old Marathon Maniac from the Chicago area. She began telling me her story of how she got into running. She had lost over 100 pounds without weight loss surgery in less than two years and had gone on to complete over 400 marathons in about 10 year’s time, all as a single mother. Evelyn had put herself through school to earn a Master’s degree, and in 2020, she completed 20 marathons in 20 days. She was unbelievably kind to stay with me the entire race, and her story helped keep my mind off of the pain of multiple blisters on both feet. Evelyn and I finished the Texas Double together, and I owe her of debt of gratitude for helping me though that event in slippers. It was one of the hardest challenges to date, and I ran Boston 2018, with two cracked ribs in that infamous bad weather.

Then in June of this year during the Mainly Marathon New England series, a male runner came up behind me and started a chat. As runners do, we began talking about the races we were going to run this year. I said my goal was to complete 13 full marathons and 13 half marathons this year. Then he told me that he had already run 47 marathons this year and planned to run over 100 marathons. I nearly gave myself whiplash when he said 47 marathons! “What??? Wow…just WOW!!!!”

He proceeded to tell me how he had been paralyzed as a child from an accident and how he had spent a lengthy time in physical therapy after major back surgery to recover. It turns out this gentleman’s name is Greg James, who at age 64, is near the top of the Marathon Maniac Leaderboard. Greg also ran 20 marathons in 20 days in 2020 and has also completed nearly 400 marathons. During this one short conversation with him, my vision of what was possible changed dramatically, and my new goal for 2021 became to complete 30 full marathons and 30 half marathons in one year.

I wish everyone were as blessed as I to be exposed to these giants of making huge dreams come true. If only people learned not to settle and keep pushing forward. Their courage is contagious! These people truly lead by example and show the way through hardship.

Most recently in July of 2021, I decided to take on six half marathons and three full marathons in eight states in 14 days. Of course, I had upped my game because of Greg’s inspiration. After the first half marathon and first full marathon, I again had a huge problem with blisters. You see, Nike quit making my beloved Nike Zoom Vomero running shoes, which were super cushioned and helped me not to feel the herniated discs in my back. I had gone through a series of other running shoes with no luck. The other running shoes I tried either gave me blisters or dug into my achilles tendon. So after the second race, I found myself wondering if I could complete my goal or if I’d have to drop out.

Then I remembered Rosa Head, a 75-year-old woman from Atlanta that I had seen during some of the Mainly Marathon races. She had just completed her 50th half marathon state in Indiana on July 12th during the Mainly Marathons’ Heartland series and did it with the use of a cane. I though how brave of Rosa, how daring of her to show up among other younger, faster runners and take on the 50 states half challenge with a cane! I thought to myself, “If Rosa has the guts to show up and accomplish her goals with a cane, I can show up and accomplish my goals with blisters!” So every night I would ice my feet, and every day, to my surprise, I would make it through another race. Having never officially met Rosa, her example inspired me to keep going.

This past Saturday at the Jack & Jill full marathon in Washington, I completed my goal of six half marathon and three full marathons within 14 days, and I had my fastest finish time in eight  years at the Jack & Jill marathon. July was a historic month, having covered the most mileage ever in one month, 157.2 race miles, and having earned nine medals in one month. (See July medals below.) I have been incredibly inspired and deeply impacted by these amazing leaders who happen to be runners. I must also give credit for the extra zip in my step to the enormous bumble bee that followed me and flew around my head from around mile 18 to mile 22 at the Jack & Jill marathon. I think he must have been attracted to my neon yellow Marathon Maniac jacket, which was tied around my waist…lol.


After many setbacks, I finally feel like I’m almost back to where I was speed-wise in early 2012. In October 2012, I was in a serious hit and run car accident on the highway and suffered neck, back and brain injuries. I took over a year off from running after that. Then I took over a year off from running when my mom had a heart attack and was very ill for over a year. My father and I averaged four hours of sleep a night while caring for my mom, and it must be said that nothing puts on weight faster than no sleep. After my mom passed in 2019, I found myself 30 pounds heavier and eager to get back into running. Then in September 2019, during my first marathon after my mom passed, a biker on a Harley came up behind me during the Sandia Crest marathon, and when I moved to get out of his way, my right ankle went off of a three-inch curb. I ruptured all the ligaments in my right ankle and suffered a stress fracture and MCL tear in my left knee when I fell on it. Then after physical therapy on my ankle, 2020 hit us all with a surprise…

I’ve worked long and hard at recovery, and these are the some of the great champions that have inspired me to keep going. Evelyn, Greg, and Rosa could have all felt sorry for themselves and quit, but they didn’t. They all set a goal, a course, and went after it with enthusiasm and daring. These people are all champions in my book, and I will carry a bit of each one of them with me going forward. It just goes to show that you never know who’s watching you and who you may be influencing, so you always have to do your best.

I hope someday I will inspire others with lupus to do more and dare more because of my journey.

No sport has taught me more than running. Being a part of the running community has been one of the greatest gifts of all for what you learn and who you become as a member. It was dear friend, and Boston marathoner, Diane Marbut, who first invited me to participate in a race. She is a scoliosis survivor and had learned to overcome her condition and achieve excellence in running, which helped me to see running as a possibility for me and to dream BIG. Time and time again, you hear stories about overcoming the odds. You come to understand that with every race there is a lesson, a blessing, and wise words shared by runners that help you to grow into the person you were meant to be. Bart Yasso, the “Mayor of Running” and regular contributor to Running World magazine says that, “Running is the ultimate faith healer, restoring belief not only in oneself, but life’s possibilities.”                     

My initial “leap” into the running world back in 2010 continues to change my life to this day. Eric Metaxas says, “True faith is not a leap in the dark; it’s a leap into the light.” I happen to agree. I believe those steps forward in faith shine a light on our gifts as well as our purpose. Runners all have their reasons why they run. We’re known for living for a purpose beyond ourselves and for giving back to charity. Just as my running goals have grown, my aspirations have also grown as to what I believe can be accomplished in giving back to charities. To date, I’ve raised just shy of $40,000 as a charity runner. Nearly $5,000 of my charity fundraising has been toward lupus charities. I’ve raised money for children with cancer, children with learning disabilities, no kill animal shelters, and human and animal disaster relief. It’s always been important for me to give back, and now I have an ongoing vehicle for supporting charities.

To date, I’ve completed 88 half marathons and 30 full marathons in about eight year’s time. By the end of this year, I will have run 100 half marathons, but this is really just the beginning of what I believe is possible. In 2020, my running story was featured online by Abbott World Marathon Majors in their “Spotlight on Health” segment. This fall, I will  run the London marathon, the Chicago marathon, the Marine Corps marathon, the New York City marathon and the BMW Dallas marathon, to name a few. To continue to follow my running journey, please visit www.runnindownadream.org.

To all of the runners who have been a part of my journey, my deepest thanks to you for your inspiration and for leading the way!


Claudine Nicholas is a Dr. Sears Wellness Institute Certified Health Coach (C.H.C.) , Member of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP), Spokesperson for the Lupus Foundation, Published Author, Marathoner, and Multiple Recipient of the US Track & Field Association’s Phidippides Award for Outstanding Performance in Long Distance Running. To date, Claudine has earned upwards of 200 running medals in her short running career. Claudine has worked in the health industry for over 20 years and loves to empower others to become healthier in the most natural way, from the farm, not the Pharmacy. Claudine believes we all need advocates for our well being and that we all have within us the power to transform a life by exemplifying and teaching fundamental healthy living rules. In her free time, she loves to paint, draw, and cook and has a passion for sharing tips for healthy meal prep with others. 

Image courtesy of RUN 4 FFWPU.

How Do I Keep My Spirits Up When I’m Hurting?


Dear Grace Q & A: How do I keep my spirits up long term, when living with emotional and physical pain?

I really hear how difficult it is to cope emotionally when you are hurting for a long time and I hope these five points help you manage the pain and still find some peace.

1. Build Resilience

Resilience supports us to cope with uncertainty. Resilience is something we can choose to build.

The factors which make up resilience have been identified by psychologists. We can learn resilience as surely as we can learn how to use Instagram or make a cup of tea.

Factors which make up resilience include a positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate one’s emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback.

According to the psychologist, Susan Kobasa, there are three main elements that resilient people possess: challenge, commitment, and control.

She further explains, you can develop resilience in several ways:

If you can create an accessible, sustainable exercise routine and work on the quality of your sleep it will give you more resources to handle stress.

The stronger you feel, the easier it is for you to overcome challenges.

Connect to your community, so that you have a support network to fall back on.

Focus on setting specific and achievable personal goals, and work on building your self-confidence.

Identify as a survivor, be proud of what you are doing and of overcoming challenges.

2. Develop a Supportive Daily Practice

Pick what you are drawn to from here, and don’t be afraid to explore something new…. these options are just the beginning.

  • Journaling – in journalling you take a book, a pad, a dictaphone and pour your emotions into it. You don’t have to chronicle your life, just write what comes, keep the pencil moving and if you get stuck write like you are writing a letter to a friend.
  • Relaxation – this has many forms and The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook has most of them.
  • Meditations – again a huge topic but life changing. If you want somewhere to begin, Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge is on now – I’m taking part, come and join us.
  • Energy work – everything from Reiki to energy clearing comes under this, but learning to be able to give yourself an energy treatment can be marvellously beneficial in so many situations. Begin by looking at your options and contacting the professional body like the UK Reiki Federation.
  • Grounding yourself – going outside can sometimes shift things amazingly. Make a practice of spending time outdoors, can you go for a walk or wheelchair ride, volunteer to walk a dog at a local sanctuary or grow a garden?
  • Art therapy – can express your emotions, store them, process them and invite deep healing.
  • Support groups – solidarity can help us feel like we fit in and are not alone. Find people who fit you and learn and grow together.
  • Aromatherapy – using essences of flowers and herbs, aromatherapy is a very powerful way to effect change on our emotions and all of our healing selves.
  • Gratitude list – a gratitude practice can be revolutionary and shift your whole way of thinking. Begin with writing down three things every day you are grateful for. I bet that by the third month you are filling pages with gratitudes and feeling happier too.
  • Healing Box Self-Care Kit – Healing Boxes CIC grew from here. It’s a box, a little like the emotional support box below, that you store your tools in. If you want us to build you a box to take on your healing journey Healing Boxes CIC can do just that, so click here.
  • Exercise – everything from dancing, tai chi, running and swimming goes here. Why not explore your options and pick something new, there are exercises available for all. For example, if you are bed bound, Feldenkrais might be perfect for you.
  • EFT – have you tried emotional freedom technique? Why not give it a go and see if it works for you?
  • Mindfulness – I recommend Breathworks CIC for all your mindfulness study. You can find their classes here. 

3. Be Heard, Be Seen, Get Help and Support

You don’t have to do this alone.

I founded the Wellness Trailblazers’ Cafe as a support space built around belief in ourselves and our possibilities, not delineated by the diagnoses with which we’ve been labelled.

To create community and connection to other women who believe it’s possible to live well with health and life challenges.

Who are willing to explore that journey alongside each other, as we explore our new selves and blaze our own trails.

And if you’ve read this blog for a while, you will know I’m a big proponent of counselling and therapy.

I’m so grateful there are people out there whose whole job it is to help me.

People say they don’t go to therapy because of the money, I believe there will be a way to get you the help you need.

I have seen therapists in two countries and six counties. Sometimes they were free and sometimes they were for reduced rates but when we needed help we always found a way.

Call around, ask about subsidised counselling, get on the waiting list at your local MIND, call clinics and ask if there are any students working at reduced rates, enquire about sliding scales, offer barter.

We can make it work.

4. Release the Pressure to Be in High Spirits

When I was diagnosed, I was desperate for a cure, to be well and happy again. I searched and searched. The 4am Google searches were epic, clicking page after page (after page after page!)… what if the next one held the secret? What if? What if? I tried every healing modality there was. And when none of them worked, I dove into a sea of denial like there was treasure at the bottom.

But that didn’t do the trick either. My husband and I began actively looking to the people around us to see how they coped with debilitating illness. Many of them simply re-shaped themselves around their sickness. They quickly gave up what they couldn’t do and carried on – perhaps feeling emptier inside for having lost, what they felt, were integral aspects of what defined them – but accepting that, and moving on nonetheless. I tried that for a while. But it never fully meshed with me, or my personality. I couldn’t sacrifice who I was, just to move forward.

I decided I could keep being me, imperfectly perfect me, with all of the quirks and love and life, and move forward at the same time. I would take an active role and find a way.

Guess what?
 I did it.
 And it wasn’t nearly so impossible as you might think.

I started small. Case in point: I wouldn’t wear a blanket over my legs in the wheelchair (far too unstylish!) Solution? I crusaded for attractive accessibility equipment (which came to be) and soon, with the fire lit, I began truly forging my healing path.

I quit seeing myself as ‘just a sick chick’ and made the conscious decision to turn Trail Blazer. That moment was one of profound acceptance. Allowing the realisation to sink deep into my (healing!) bones:

I unpacked my own prejudices and avoidance and began to build my practice of living. Not as an ill statistic, but as a Trailblazer: a healing, powerful woman with a whole lot to offer the world.

How do we allow healing to fuel our lives? It starts with you.

Begin with what you like. It may be difficult to uncover it from under your pain and the demands of others. It may have changed since you were diagnosed, or last took stock. You are not the same person you were. And that’s ok. You’ve been through the phoenix fire of diagnosis, life crisis, grief or aging. You have come through it, and that is a great place to start.

When we experience a trauma or life-shift it can feel like our lives are burning up around us, like everything we knew and relied on is turning to ash. In the Trail Blazers’ movement, we learn to become the phoenixes, even more burnished and beautiful than we were before our struggles.

To become that phoenix, to rise up anew, you must begin. Start by noticing what you enjoy. Steaming baths? Radio comedy? A new pencil case? Singing with abandon? Drinking green juice? We pay attention to what makes us feel strong. And paying attention, planning from this acute place of awareness, makes a significant, positive impact in our ability to course correct and plot out our (healthy!) future.

You don’t have to live inside an unquestioned cage of perfection. Make that cognisant shift to unlock the door. And then, do it. With enthusiasm. With hope.

Start there and know, your Trailblazing journey has begun.

5. Name the Feelings

Please know that spirits falling and lifting is a perfectly natural occurrence. It’s uncomfortable, difficult and painful maybe but natural.

What can do you to cope with the ups and downs to make them less scary or trying?

Building a bad day plan? or a self-care kit? Seeing support to work with the uncomfortable feelings?

I hope you find what works for you.

How do you cope with low spirits? Let me know in the comments!


Grace Quantock is an award-winning international wellness expert, coach, author, motivational speaker, certified Reiki master and spiritual response therapy practitioner. She is the founder of Healing Boxes CIC and The Phoenix Fire Academy. Currently living – and thriving – with often debilitating illness, she is the real deal and knows, firsthand, the emotional and physical roller coaster that accompanies diagnosis and life struggle. Currently, a resident of Wales, Grace loves reading, gardening and early mornings. She firmly believes that life is meant to be celebrated, and has made it her mission to help others do just that …joyfully and on their own terms. You can follow Grace on Twitter.

Image courtesy of Ivan Samkov.

Mistake Is the Best Free School


Mistake vs failure

Growth is an imperative component of life, without it, there’ll be no progression and life will be on the still. But, life in itself is a development. Where there is stagnation or incomplete expression of human potential life provides series of interventions to stimulate growth; in any of these interventions there is a lesson to learn or an inspiration to take receipt of.

One such indispensable interventions — mistake — ceaselessly manifests itself in the life of every human. Mistakes are sweet bitter happenings that afford humans the opportunity to learn much from and lead to progressive growth. Unfortunately, the fuss the mass believe is that mistake is the same as failure, NO! There is a striking white and black difference between the two, and I will briefly bridge the gap to efface the fuss.

A mistake is like a small error. It is an incorrect, unwise, or unfortunate act or decision. A mistake can be caused by bad judgment, a lack of information, or a lack of attention to detail. While a mistake can lead to failure they do not always have to end in failure. We make numerous mistakes every day without serious consequence.

Conversely, failure is more of a feeling as a result of many mistakes. Failure is more of an emotional state — a bad feeling of a self as a result of series of mistakes made. YES! It is pretty simple, actually. I will augment it with a famous quote from Jim Rhon (speaker and author): “Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.” Jim was right, and that leads me to think that failure and mistakes are not the same thing. Failure is by Jim’s thinking, something that occurs over time. Many are the mistakes we make and they are not maledictions, but interventions to help us grow. Mistakes, the unavoidable realities and also the best free schools, come as remediations to preempt repetition of errors and make our knowledge about something even finer. They come as lighters to unblind us on certain choices, reveal where our passion is and it is not, bring out problems in a relationship, humble us where we were arrogant, and so much more.

I am going to share a story about a mistake I made, and that taught me a better alternative— the considerate path — I had not considered earlier.

The tale

It is a tale lacking a fairy so fairly realistic to tell. It generally would not be prudent to fail to honor an invitation —just to leisurely stay at home — to a wedding of the daughter of your easygoing landlady. The matrimonial incidents lacked not a single trait of the true Ghanaian way — almost the usual is: a traditional ceremony first, and a church wedding the next day. But this mistake I made which to many would be very normal in a sense took place in the traditional wedding setting. The culturally incensed rite between Evelyn and Curtis on the late morning of one Friday in Kumasi (the second largest city in Ghana) actually saw me in the midst of curiosity and beauty.

It was a moment I truly blessed my knowledge with whole new scenes of rich Ashanti culture hidden in the bowels of a traditional wedding. Regrettably, I have to skip the long narrative of what seemed to be a dashing display to land you right on the shores of the part where I so much want to share with you.

The graceful and glorious rite had just begun, and the guests were entering the event hall in singles, doubles and even more to find spaces for themselves, and witness the matter that summoned them in the first place. I had already taken a cursory look at the hall; it was quite small, and by estimation might not be able to accommodate more than sixty guests. Consequently, I quickly decided to create a niche somewhere in it for myself where I could clearly have unobstructed view of the couple. Because the chairs at hall were scanty, I planned to go to where the after party would be and fetch four chairs for myself and some other three tenants I went along with. I saw one or two ladies doing it and I swiftly joined in. I just did not know how to approach the carriage of the chairs, but I looked at how one lady did hers and wanted to follow in the exact manner. I rashly put three chairs on one to make four and decided to lift them at a go with little carefulness, but then too, I had become the object of concentration for the eyes of the multiple guests standing by opting to lift some chairs too. I lifted the chairs and the next moment was a loud thud — the chairs had fallen; shyness had my gaze fixed to the ground and my mind told me the people are looking at me. Few questions bought by the expensive embarrassment easily came in mind…. “how do I redeem myself? How do I lift the chairs in a better way to avoid another shame? The feeling was as awful as bee sting. Finally, my eyes were up and randomly picked some faces from the crowd — you could see surprises and faint, sneering smiles hanging on their countenances. My head has never weighed that heavier and it felt almost like I was carrying a bag of cow dung escorted by all the houseflies in Africa.

What lesson?

One question which proved stubborn to leave my mind when the chairs dropped was, “how could I carry them in a better way to prove my doubters standing by wrong?” It is like that, when we make mistakes, we begin to think more rationally to dissolve our regrets and placate our mental can dos any time another opportunity pulls out its head. When I saw the people staring at me still as though I had “wanted” overtly written on my forehead,” I just thought of being more considerate in my next approach; such is the prime school a mistake can purvey to teach us to make an instant transition from our bad to good, and from better to best. Not long, my mindset had transitioned from carelessness to considerateness and, consequently, I lifted the chairs in a manner more accurate than before — I shamed the shame and bought my mind some relief. You might have experientially been in a similar terrible incident for which you did not know what to do, or how to do it, and you seemed like a fish in a dry sand. Such situations in life just do not come, but come to uniquely school us to learn lessons for the remaining unknown days we have left on earth. Mistakes are inevitable realities and are like sleeps; we need them to go into a state of necessary inactiveness and later awake to a new sense of consciousness feeling more refreshed, finer and revitalized more than ever.

The necessity of mistake

Often times, when we do things for the first time we do so with much uncertainty; contemplating on whether the outcome will be successful or not. However, there comes a time in life later we have made mistakes and through that the logs on our eyes are removed, success becomes clearer in the doorway. Life understands our worth and knows what we rightly deserve. One key thing to note is, we cannot consciously be ready for anything at any time, so there is this natural phenomenon —mistake— in place to essentially prompt us of certain missing required values we must have before we could advance. Thus mistake, as valuable as it can be, comes to naturally repeat a process we have been through but failed in order to aid us unlearn the wrongs, relearn the rights, and learn new stuffs until we are better placed over mediocrity, and not so far from the depths of excellence. You could clearly tell from my story that I lacked precision in my earlier approach to carry those chairs because I felt like a cat that got the cream. When the mistake was made and the chairs fell, I was offered the opportunity to discard the unproductive predisposition and hook onto something productive and when I did, it took me to success — you can never make success as a human without first of all committing mistakes.

Your mistakes do not define you, but what defines you is what you become with the lessons they teach. There is a thin line between failure and success; failure is the unwillingness to accept and implement the lessons mistakes teach, but the opposite is true for success. Mistakes are gifts in disguise — the finest gifts of criticism that life can ever give you to help reshape your thoughts and reconsider your earlier decisions for a better outcome in the right time! When the famous, determined scientist Thomas Edison decided to invent a commercially-viable electric lightbulb, he failed (not viewed as failure but errors in methods) over 10,000 times. When asked by a reporter how it felt to fail so many times, he merely stated, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.” To Edison, every single mistake he made in his arduous odyssey to invent the lightbulb was a burning flame to refine his method. One key element to learn from his story is perseverance. Every strong soul or an achiever learns from his mistakes and preserves until success is born.

Be a good student and learn!

The unfortunate is the blithe most give to their mistakes and in effect remain halfwit and unprogressive. Anytime there is stagnation of life or incomplete expression of one’s potential, there is either not enough mistakes made or unwillingness to extract and implement the knowledge from the lesson mistakes offer him or her. In fact, you could argue that one of the prerequisites for success is some hurdles along the way that help you build strength, resilience and intestinal fortitude. Then when you do achieve the success you have been seeking; it will be all the more enjoyable. Be glad when you make mistakes do not fret; mistakes take you to free schools so that you can be refined into something magical you never even imagined! But the sin is your negligence and stubbornness as a student to learn from the lesson mistakes offer — if that is not skirt rounded, you would keep making same mistakes and you might surrender to failure!

Your mistakes do not define you, but what defines you is what you become with the lessons they teach. Have you learnt from your mistakes?


Kofi Karikari is a writer from Kumasi, Ghana. His poems, inspirational articles, and stories can be found at https://jeffamp150.wordpress.com/.

Image courtesy of Monica Turlui.

Breathing New Life into Literacy


How many of us take for granted the ability to read and write? I would guess — millions of people, probably you included. Those of us who learned these skills in grade school just assume that everyone has this ability, but that isn’t really true. Literacy can sometimes be taken for granted.

Building Literacy Skills

Literacy skills are not universally held by everyone in the world, and even in our own developed countries, children and youth continue to struggle just to learn the basics of reading and writing. We know that if they don’t master the basic ability to read, write and communicate effectively, their chances for career success and financial stability as they become adults are both under threat.

All young people, all over the world, are our future and I believe we owe them a strong foundation in literacy.

But how can we better support and celebrate literacy and keep it alive and well? This is a question I have thought a lot about and I have some ideas of how to breathe new life into what might seem like just an old-fashioned concept. And guess what? It’s not a revolutionary idea. In fact, it’s a return to basics that I am proposing.

My approach is based on the fact that literacy begins the moment a child picks up his or her first pencil or crayon. The connection between reading and writing has existed for many years in education, and I feel that it is crucially important today that we not lose sight of this. And I know that many educators agree and are also strongly supportive of efforts that build basic literacy skills.

Learning Through Handwriting

My own belief is that handwriting is a key skill for children to master on their way to becoming literate. Here’s how my own experience has shaped my passion for this issue.

I first became aware of the close connection between reading and writing early in my career. When I started out at IBM, I worked as an Educational Marketing Representative. In that job, I witnessed firsthand the success of early electronic products such as Writing to Read, which helped young Kindergarten and first grade students learn to read through the act of handwriting.

At that time, children were encouraged to first write phonetically, and then develop spelling, sentence structure skills, and along with that, they would practice penmanship. This approach created an effective bridge to literacy at a very early age. It wasn’t long before we saw that the students using Writing to Read would outperform their counterparts in reading fluency, comprehension and other language arts components, like spelling and writing texts.

While the early learning technology was clearly part of this success, I believe the bigger factor was that handwriting with a pencil or pen was strongly encouraged and taught as a key component of the overall strategy.

But where is this focus on the pencil, crayon or pen today? How many pre-school children can negotiate their way around the screen on a tablet, cellphone or TV game system, but don’t properly know how to hold a pencil?

Practicing Penmanship

This is why I have been working hard to have my Spread Thanks movement spread into the school systems across the US and around the world. It’s a simple concept whereby you send one handwritten thank you card out every day! This practice is an ideal and fun way for children to practice their penmanship and literacy skills while learning the value of being thankful.

I love how this concept has the power to impact children’s literacy by bringing the art of hand-writing back in focus. Imagine a group of school children excited to be creating notes of thanks to the special people who help them in their lives. They could send a note to their bus driver, a special teacher, their grandmother or their babysitter.

When I presented this idea to a large group of educators a few months ago, they were enthusiastic at the prospect. We are just taking small steps at this point, but the idea of getting it into the school system is gaining more and more traction every day.

I feel it is an important responsibility to support literacy in any way I can, so I have also earmarked a portion of the proceeds from the sale of my products to support the efforts of the 826 National charitable organization which helps low-income students explore creativity, share stories, and build essential literary skills. It’s a fabulous group with seven chapters in major US cities.

Now it’s your turn. If you could pick up your own pen and note card, who would you thank today? Why not do it? Send it off to them and watch the power of your pen send the power of gratitude into overdrive. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences below and thank you for spreading thanks in your corner of the world.


Elena Anguita is a change agent, speaker, and author of Spread Thanks! Create Miracles Through The Power of Ink who supports education and passionately believes in the transformative power of gratitude. You can connect with Elena on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SpreadThanks.com.

Image courtesy of Gustavo Fring.

Sincerity Is Not (Always) Truthfulness

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11 Ridiculously Simple Rules for a Happier Life That Most People Ignore


It’s wild but true: we already know how to have great lives. Most of us know all the tips and tricks to lead a fulfilling, joyous existence and we just ignore them.

Think of this article as a self-help palate cleanser. There’s nothing surprising, weird, or unachievable on this list. You don’t need another bizarre productivity hack. You don’t need to achieve perfect mindfulness. You don’t need to find that perfect job that will give you riches and ideal satisfaction.

You’ve probably heard of most of these rules. But for whatever reason, most people ignore them. So, this is your friendly reminder to drink water — both literally and metaphorically.

1. Eat lunch away from your desk.

I’m not the first person to suggest this by far, but it’s surprising how often I have to repeat it to myself. Getting away from work to eat is a really nice break and can make you happier and more productive.

When you leave your desk to eat, you increase your enjoyment of the food you eat. You move around a bit, which feels nice and has health benefits. You give your brain and eyes a break from staring at a screen.

Maybe you’re staying because you really think that extra 20 minutes of work makes you more productive. Maybe you think it’ll make your boss take you more seriously. Maybe you like to browse Twitter when you eat lunch. Whatever the reason, recognize that you’ll be happier, healthier, and more productive if you leave. (And if you need to hear it from someone other than me, there’s a Wired article all about it that quotes researchers on the myriad benefits.)

2. Call your mom.

Replace “mom” with any person that you love and yet whom you neglect calling. For me, it’s my mom. I knew my mom was always there for me, so I never used to prioritize time with her. When I got my head out of my butt and started picking up the phone, I was happier. It’s that simple.

We have a tendency to take the people closest to us for granted and research from the University of Berkeley tells us we undervalue the bonding and enjoyment benefits we get from hearing other people’s voices.

Stop doing that, take stock of the wonderful network you have, and make an effort to reach out. Pick up the phone right now and call that person you’ve been meaning to chat with. You’ll be surprised how nice it is to catch up.

3. Drink more water

I warned you I’d tell you to hydrate, didn’t I? While you won’t fix all life’s problems with some H20, most people don’t drink enough even though 80% of Americans believe they don’t drink enough water.

This is such a basic recommendation and yet it’s so frequently ignored that the CDC has a whole webpage dedicated to the benefits of hydration. It lubricates your joints, helps you digest, literally detoxes you, and helps you regulate your temperature.

Buy a water bottle, invest in flavored water, or just down a pint every morning. Water helps.

4. Do something you love — for yourself.

In our late-stage capitalistic existence, we are motivated to turn everything we have to profit, whether it’s a talent, a joy, or just some spare time. But when you attach a price tag to something, it ironically loses value.

I love writing, but it’s not a self-care thing for me anymore because it’s my business. I can’t write articles like this just for myself because I’m excruciatingly aware that I have an audience who pays my bills. To find that joy, I have to find other non-profitable creative outlets like painting. I suck at it, so they’ll never be sold, but I love it.

Doing stuff just for fun reduces stress, according to science. You did not hear it here first, but you probably need reminding.

5. Seriously, get off Twitter.

Surprising nobody, researchers found that social media makes people angry. Turns out talking to avatars instead of people makes you less likely to see them as… people. That, combined with Twitter’s horrible penchant for incentivizing dunk tweets (which share horrible, enraging tweets just for the sake of “dunking” or mocking them) makes social media a nasty place to be.

Anger is the most present emotion on social media. If you want to be less angry, spend less time there.

6. Move around.

You don’t have to run a 10k every morning, but getting up and moving around will make you feel better in body and mind.

“When you exercise, it increases endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline and endocannabinoid — these are all brain chemicals associated with feeling happy, feeling confident, feeling capable, feeling less anxiety and stress and even less physical pain,” health psychologist Dr. Kelly McGonigal says to CNET.

Exercise is fraught with rampant fatphobia and ableism (read Genevieve Richardson’s excellent post on the subject for more information), so I want to be crystal clear: I’m not talking about doing half an hour of circuits, or specifically losing weight, or “just going for a run” if you’re depressed.

Walk if you can, roll your wrists, move away from your desk — any kind of movement within your limits can help make you feel better.

7. Learn how to deal with your emotions.

This one isn’t so prevalent in self-help writing as it is in preschool, but it’s worth saying again: you’ll be happier if you learn to deal with your emotions.

From Very Well Family, a parenting website, comes the following sage advice: “Kids need to learn that just because they feel angry doesn’t mean they can hit someone…Often, kids don’t know what to do when they feel sad so they become aggressive or exhibit attention-seeking behaviors.”

This is true of a lot of people I know, even as adults! Learning to deal with your emotions in a healthy way — journaling, going to therapy, or just taking ownership of your emotions — will make you a happier, more well-adjusted adult.

I’ll finish this section with another absolute gem of wisdom from Very Well Family: “When you catch [your child] moping, for example, try saying, ‘I think moping around today may make you stay stuck in a bad mood. I wonder what you could do to help your mood?’”

8. Help other people.

It’s been said so often that it’s going to sound trite as I type it now: helping other people is a great way to feel better. TIME magazine goes so far as to call helping others “the secret of happiness.”

Well, it’s a secret no more: find something you care about and find a way to contribute. If you’re like me and leery of donating to bigger organizations that have a bad reputation of really messing up, like the Red Cross, find smaller ones. Every month, I donate $20 to a charity that gives phone credit to refugees. I know it’s not world-changing, but it feels incredible to be part of something and to make a small difference.

It can be big. It can be small. It can be money, time, or organizational resources. Just know that helping other people is a “powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness,” according to TIME magazine contributor Jenny Santi.

9. Clean your room.

When I was fifteen, I decided I had a creative brain which meant I was happier in untidy environments. Then my mom forced me to clean my room and I discovered, like literally everyone else, that I’m happier in tidier, cleaner environments.

Research from Princeton found that tidiness improves productivity; Big Clean sponsored a survey and found that basically, people were happier in cleaner rooms. Quelle surprise!

It’ll take less time than you think and it’ll make you happier. Make the effort to get your room, desk, kitchen, etc, in order and looking tidy.

10. Be grateful for what you have.

Another classic from the self-help genre: practice gratitude! But seriously, you should. Humans have a nifty survival mechanism called psychological homeostasis: we get used to our circumstances very quickly. This means a heartbreak won’t kill us, but it also means that promotion won’t make us happy for long.

Ancient gratitude research (from 2003!) suggests that happiness can come as easily as counting your blessings instead of your burdens.

To keep your sense of perspective, literally say thanks. Remember you have a lot of really cool stuff in your life: friends, family, life, a cute teacup, the opportunity to read self-help articles on the internet. We’re all fortunate for some reason or another.

11. Try new things.

I’ll finish off this list of classic advice by suggesting you try something new. (To clarify, the advice to try something new is old. But it’s still ignored and highly relevant.)

At this point, you’ve probably seen 100 iterations of this suggestion from 100 different experts, but I’ll give you one more: Psychologist Rich Walker of Winston-Salem State University found that people who engage in a variety of experiences are more likely to retain positive emotions and minimize negative ones than people who have fewer experiences.

We are creatures of habit and resent trying new things, but the faster you stop ignoring this advice, the faster you’ll be happier.

This is a simple list with oft-repeated advice, but so often the simplest advice is the best. These 11 unpopular rules will grant you a happier, more fulfilling life. All you have to do is follow them.


Zulie Rane is a reader and a writer who believes in the power to change the world through the written word. You can find her writing on ZulieRane.com, posting selfies and art on Instagram at @zulierane and tweeting bad puns on Twitter at @zulierane.

Image courtesy of Stephan Seeber.

The 100 Percent Rule That Makes Life a Lot Easier


Clayton Christensen, the former famed Harvard Business School professor, had a powerful statement:

“It’s easier to hold your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold them 98 percent of the time.”

This quote makes a lot of sense in light of research on decision making and willpower. Take, for example, a diet. If you’re only 98 percent committed to a diet, then that means you haven’t yet made the decision.

If you haven’t made the decision, but are only partially committed, then you don’t know what the outcome will be in future scenarios.

Not knowing the outcome of your behavior can create problems in your confidence and identity.

Here’s an example: If you’re only 98 percent committed to a diet, in every future situation you’re in, you have to ask yourself, “Is this one of those times I’m going to eat outside the diet?”

By asking this question, usually, while you’re in the heat of the moment, you have to weigh back-and-forth in your mind what you’re going to do. This whole “back-and-forth” decision-making process leads to decision fatigue or a loss of willpower.

In many cases, more often you probably would like to admit, the situation ends up winning. That’s something social psychology research has found repeatedly for decades: Situations are often more powerful than internal desires.

By only being 98 percent committed to a goal or principle, you lack the ability to adequately predict your own behavior. You often enter situations where you don’t know what the outcome will be. You deal with decision fatigue in the heat of unideal decision-making situations, such as when you’re being offered your favorite dessert.

By watching yourself repeatedly fail on your “commitment,” your identity becomes confused as does your confidence. With lower confidence, you’ll lack the wherewithal to commit fully to the decision or goal. The author Robert Brault has a quote for this: “We are kept from our goal not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”

Motivation requires simplicity. Complexity kills motivation.

Consequently, you want to make a decision, have a clear outcome, and carve a clear path to getting what you want. As you make progress, you’ll begin to develop efficacy or confidence that you can complete. These notions of motivation come from Expectancy Theory.

Instead of dealing with decision fatigue at 98 percent, one could make a decision at 100 percent. Although difficult, this could solve a lot of willpower problems.

By committing 100 percent to something, like say, a diet, even for a short period of time, you can predict your behavior in future situations. You can know that regardless of what is being offered, the decision has already been made. That decision was made in better conditions than in the heat of the moment. Therefore, you don’t have to deal with the back-and-forth struggle of decision fatigue in unideal decision-making conditions, such as when your best friend is offering you a soda.

Michael Jordan has a great quotation that brings this idea together: “Once I made a decision, I never thought about it again.” That’s the key to building confidence. You make a decision and move forward with that decision, 100 percent.

Each time you follow through, your confidence increases, thus further increasing your motivation and resolve to continue. Your identity becomes clearer and resonates with the future self you strive to become. Self-signaling is the notion that you judge yourself based on your actions.

By watching yourself act according to desired goals, you begin to perceive yourself as that type of person.

If you do find yourself in the heat of the moment and are struggling with your resolve, there are two helpful strategies. One is called “Implementation intentions,” and what it means is that you’ve created a pre-planned response when you’re triggered to do something you don’t want to do. You create an “if-then” scenario, such as, “When Steve offers me a soda, I will tell him I’m on a diet.”

The other strategy comes from Hal Hershfield at UCLA, who has studied the idea of having a “future self” concept, and how that helps decision making. Rather than making a decision based on what your current self wants, you could ask, “How would my future self want to remember this?” Or, “What would my future self want me to do?” These questions have helped me be more intentional with my kids when I get home from a busy day at work and am exhausted, wanting to veg-out.

Conclusion

The 100 percent rule by Clayton Christensen is a very useful strategy for avoiding decision fatigue and for building confidence. 


Dr. Benjamin Hardy is an organizational psychologist and bestselling author of Willpower Doesn’t Work. His blogs have been read by over 100 million people and are featured on Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, Cheddar, Big Think, and many others. He is a regular contributor to Inc. and Psychology Today and from 2015-2018, he was the #1 writer, in the world, on Medium.com. He and his wife Lauren adopted three children through the foster system in February 2018 and, one month later, Lauren became pregnant with twins, who were born in December of 2018. They live in Orlando.

Image courtesy of Jorge Fakhouri Filho.

Fear Is Not Your Destiny


If we stare long and hard at fear, we may soon believe it. Unless we’re aware. Unless we realize where our eyes go, then so do our feet. Fear can devour us, spit us out and leave us wondering why we try at all.

Fear is also nuanced. There are different types. It’s not all whole milk. We got skim, 1%, almond, and 100 other non-dairy types. This is what I dive into on today’s episode. Not milk, but the nature and subsets of our fear, which is a common killer of our dreams.

Jump into this week’s episode of Lila, here 

I was holding back and I knew it. I was staring fear #1 in the face.

Fear #1 is where we’re afraid that a negative experience is going to repeat itself.

The distinction here is that what we fear probably will repeat itself because we’ve been shown the nature of this person, place, or situation. And all roads point to yep, they’re going to go do this thing we fear most, again.

This fear grows on the backside of hope the outcome will be changed without the inner nature of the person, place, or situation changing. Its cousin is denial. It’s where we believe untrustworthy people and fear them breaking our trust again.

Fear #1 is built on death traps for sensitive dreamers and creatives with a higher purpose.

It consists of self-sacrifice, dependency, and white-knuckling it. This will quickly drain you of your life force. It’s a crowd favorite to stop your dreams in their tracks.

I have so much compassion for myself and for every single person who has ever sat in and through situations that tear at your insides, tug at your heart and pull at your gut. Gripping the metaphorical table, your knuckles now pale from the holding on, you brave it.

Because the thought of disappointment, loss, of a repeating situation, is too great.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

You have other options, even if you don’t yet see or feel them, and you’re justified in leaving and/or altering the nature of these dynamics.

Knowing you’re experiencing fear #1 points to new ways of being that both acknowledge the realness of your current fear. And then subsequently allows you to change your mind like we spoke about in last week’s episode, and take even better care of yourself.

Remember, you’re here to create magic and that magic depends on your health and well-being.

Fear #2 is where the ghosts of Christmas past haunt us unnecessarily so.

In this scenario, we believe we’re experiencing fear #1 due to years of mistrust. We just aren’t sure yet what’s in front of us.

Until we lean in, we can’t be sure, can we? Fear #2 is the kind of fear coaches frequently tell you to lean into as a roadmap.

I have a new suggestion, which is a lesson I’ve just now learned post-recording.

Fear of either form is discerned by getting closer and taking a deeper look. What marks the difference between fear #1 and #2 is:

  • How well you’re protected.
  • The pace at which you allow yourself to reveal the nature of the fear (e.g. no rush)
  • and then how discerning you are.

Name the fear you’re in and you’ll know which tools are best leveraged to navigate forward.

Dive into this week’s new episode of Lila the podcast, here.

Thanks for being here. Share this with your three of your friends. They’re going to love it!

Big love,

Lalita

P.S. Question to consider: After you listen to the podcast, pick a defining moment in your life where you felt scared. Ask yourself: which fear were you experiencing? Type 1 or type 2? And what would you do differently today knowing what you know now?


Lalita Ballesteros is a speaker, comedian, director, and the founder of Haus of Lala, a creative agency specializing in personal branding. She stands by the belief that your voice matters and that authentic self-expression is our most important work. In the past, Lalita’s disrupted the publishing industry with Seth Godin and The Domino Project (powered by Amazon) creating six best-sellers and raising over a quarter million in revenue in only four months. She also worked at the American Embassy in Rome, created a 6-figure Airbnb business, and oversaw ambassador efforts at Lyft. She speaks three languages and is a regular contributor for Positively Positive, a publication with over 2.5 million followers on Facebook. Lalita’s been seen on the stages of TEDx and Comedy Bary as well as in the pages of Fast Company, Etsy, Forbes, Yahoo Small Business, Mashable, and the best-selling book End Malaria. She currently lives in Toronto with her dog, Luna. Follow her writings and comedy here and #100daysofcomedy here.

Image courtesy of SHVETS production.

What Does It Mean to Be Brave?


Is being brave moving on from everything with a smile, taking all the risks or jumping from town to town? Is it to love? Is it to fight in the front line of battle?

Being brave is most definitely all these things and more. Although, I do feel like there is a perspective on being brave that can have some of us, including myself twisted up a bit.

Being brave has become so much more to me than being able to be brave enough to move on, to change a job and to face the unknown but, being brave enough to just be.

Being brave enough to feel this moment. Being brave enough to say things that come from the heart that can sometimes hurt us but saying it anyways.

Being brave is allowing ourselves time to break down in order to regrow, rather than jump to the next scenery.

Being brave is being wherever we are in this moment.

Being brave is trying not to become our thoughts rather observe them. Take the time to learn this and to practice this.

Being brave enough to accept the times we do get caught up.

Being brave is being me and it’s being you.

It is also allowing yourself to lose some parts of your identity that was held onto because maybe that’s not really us. Maybe that was brave’s best friend showing up in place of bravery as a form of protection.

Time is necessary.

With that, being brave is accepting how we reacted and handled things from the past and maybe the time just wasn’t right for us to be able to process some of the big things, and the small things.

Being brave is showing up for ourselves when we may not want to and honoring where we are.

Sometimes we tend to feel like we have something to prove in order to be brave.

But, maybe bravery is sitting back when our hearts are asking us too.

Saying no, and saying yes.

Whatever it means for you to be brave, I see you. I know you are brave. I see we are brave.

With bravery comes strength every time. The strength it takes to look at ourselves, to feel how we feel. The strength to let go. Maybe it is letting go of old stories we tell ourselves, or letting go of our identity, the idea of who we have in our heads as how we must show up. Maybe it is the strength that comes from letting go of a relationship in any form of dynamic in order to have boundaries.

Being brave enough to be kind, not only to the world but to ourselves.

Truly allow compassion for self in, without that it’s really hard to see and feel compassion for the world.

Being brave enough to know it’s okay we have a hard time showing compassion.

Compassion within the compassion.

A lot of definitions of being brave say not being scared. To me, being brave is allowing yourself to feel however you need in order to move forward. We can be scared and do, at the same time.

Mostly, you. Whoever you are reading this. I see you. I see your strength, I see your bravery. Your light is shining whether you feel it or not. Some of your bravest moments may not appear as brave within the conditions of the perspective but damn, you brave.

Create your own definition without the connotation of the world’s definition.

Know that you don’t have anything to prove to be defined as brave.

It looks a lot like you being yourself.


Em Garcia is a Hip Hop Artist and Writer. She is a growth seeker and believes kindness can change the world. She believes in everything and everyone. Honesty within yourself and others is the first step to an authentic life is the motto she lives by. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Image courtesy of Audrey Badin.