Jun 162014
 

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I read this article by Lisanne on making sure your old content doesn’t go to waste and I thought I’d do something inspired: Make a recap of my discipline posts!

Oldies but goodies. Like Hugh Laurie and Idris Elba (prrrrr).

Anyway. I hope they serve you well this Monday morning — although they’re not as sexy as the oldies but goodies mentioned above. Enjoy!

HOW TO GET MOTIVATED. 

“So. I was thinking about motivation. More specifically how we start doing things. To be even more specific, I started thinking about that one moment where it happens: We actually start.

We start to do something new. A new routine emerges. We finally do that thing we’ve been putting off for a while. We get up from the couch and get into action. We stop procrastinating.

What happens in that moment? What is that defining thing that creates the momentum? I think it’s in that thing where the real shift happens. In that moment, that magic happens; in that moment change begins, new habits start, new roads are taken.”

- The Click, the Fire, and how to get it. 

SELF DISCIPLINE.

Because self discipline is about you. It’s not about this ideal vision of a person who runs 10K every day, who never does anything bad and who constantly has perfect scores. It’s about you. It’s about you, running three times a week steadily. It’s about how you train yourself to write for 2 hours after dinner, even though you’re in a food coma and House is on. It’s about teaching yourself the right patterns, the right habits and sticking to them. It’s a process. It’s something you get better and better at, over time, as long as you keep trying.” 

- Self Discipline, what it is and what it isn’t. 

FAVORITE STEVE PAVLINA QUOTES (ON DISCIPLINE)

“But this book by Steve Pavlina has a very calm ‘voice’. It’s not chest-poundy at all. Instead it’s very relaxed…but radically truthful and enlightening.

The energy behind the writing is very clear and whenever I read it, I don’t start pounding my own chest – instead I start thinking and figuring things out. It’s nice. I compiled my favorite quotes for you. Take a look.” 

- My Favorite Steve Pavlina Quotes 

DIFFERENT TYPES OF DISCIPLINE

“The point of discipline is not a restrictive one, but one of expansion. Whatever it is you start doing (exercise routine, language course, daily sex) or stop doing (smoking, drinking, being judgmental), you’re doing it because you want to create more possibilities and opportunities for yourself. You try to create extra space for who you are and who you want to be, you do it because you believe you will benefit from it and it will improve your life.

See? More good thing! More – not less. This is liberating, expanding!”

– Restrictive discipline vs Relaxed discipline. 

DISCIPLINE IS TRAINING

Habits are the building blocks of all this. Discipline is not some switch you pull and now you’re suddenly running three times a week, cleaning your bathroom faithfully, reading every day, studying with straight A’s and curing world hunger in your spare time.

Discipline is a bunch of habits lined up, neatly stacked up against each other, creating a life in which you do all the things you want to do for yourself.”

– Discipline is training, not a trick.

THE “SO WHAT” RESPONSE TO WHINING.

“The things we want to do for ourselves are constant. How badly we want to achieve them and work for them, that stuff is under the influence of temporary and variable external factors, like moods, life events and biological changes. Now, how important are we going to let those things be? The right answer would be ‘not very’.

Moods change. A goal doesn’t.”

A (Cold) Shower Epiphany.  

Jun 092014
 

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(source, sort of, I mean it is Tumblr so everything is stolen from everyone)

I don’t usually do short blog posts (HA what even are those) but I found this quote yesterday evening and was just so spot-on I just had to share. I think it’s a good quote for a Monday especially.

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Mar 172014
 

5960724577_8124ba8874_b(Tony Hisgett – flickr)

Happy Monday, guys. I hope you had a lovely weekend and that the upcoming workweek doesn’t fill you with too much dread.

The article of today is actually exactly what it says: Three tricks to get happier. Super simple, written about before by a million people (myself included.) Total no-brainers. But some messages are worth repeating. Some messages need to be out in the world phrased in as many different ways as possible.

Three tricks to get happier after the jump.

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Feb 242014
 

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 (Picture by Andrew Chin)

There’s so much material available these days on self help and self improvement. So many books, so many online magazines, so many blogs. And it’s great. Truly. I’m so happy that all this information is out there. I really believe it can do a world of good.

But as is the case with the Internet, you can get lost in all this information. You start with one little LifeHack article but before you know it you get sucked in. When you finally snap out of it HOURS have passed. You’re hungry, you’re late and that deadline is drawing near.

Let’s look at a different way of self help reading or even less self help reading in order to really self help.

(…Talk about shooting myself in the foot, but oh well)

Continue reading »

Oct 152013
 

We as a people, are content-obsessed. Constantly refreshing our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, continuously on the look-out for something new to entertain ourselves with. A new viral, a new blog. A lot of us, myself included, are more preoccupied with getting information into our system instead of putting things out into the world ourselves.

We don’t read as much anymore, not on paper anyway. On-line it can’t be too long either, because we’ll get bored and start looking at cute puppies on YouTube instead. We browse Tumblr, 9Gag, read tidbits of celebrity gossip or on-line feuds. Because it’s easy. Because we don’t have to do anything than click and scroll. We should be writing, but instead we read quotes about writing. Instead of working out, we reblog fitspiration pictures.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with (some of) that. The input is how we entertain ourselves a lot of the time! Reblogging for the win, being on social media is fun, and reading about doing stuff instead of actually doing stuff can serve as learning or getting inspired. But the scale is massively tipping into the ‘I passively take in information’-direction, up to a point where it worries me a little.

Additionally, by continously putting information into ourselves, we get sort of ‘stuffed’. This can clog up our output channels. I notice this within myself. The more I read random, superficial stuff, the less I write myself. When I take in too much (useless) content, my own output doesn’t flow as easily, you know?.

So I was thinking, what if we turned that around?

What if instead, we started to entertain ourselves by creating output instead of through requiring constant input? What if we focused on creating output instead of feeding ourselves with input? What if we started getting obsessed with putting stuff out into the world?

Instead of reading about writing, actually write something. Instead of looking at that cool Nike commercial, go work out. Instead of looking at the pictures of an experience on-line, go outside and have that experience. Instead of reading about other people on-line, why not go out and meet new people?

Let information or content come out of you instead. Put stuff into the world instead of continuously requiring to be entertained with new input information.

So today, think about your usual input-oriented pattern. Do you go on Twitter and Facebook, how often do you refresh websites, on-line magazines and blogs? Do you create enough or do you want to create more?

How active or how passive are you right now in your day-to-day-living?

And why not today, before you do your usual round of getting information into your system, sit down and think to yourself:

What do I want to put into the world right now What do I want to create today? 

Active entertainment is not only healthy for body and brain, creating things from within yourself gets you more in touch with what matters to you. Which makes you happier and makes you go in the right direction more often!

And creating things in your life is not just in the creative-type way. Sure, it can be creative in the sense of making art, designing, writing your own article or just journaling or doodling for yourself. But you can also create with your body, whether it’s exercise, dance, yoga or any other physical activity.

Alternatively, if creativity doesn’t have your real interest, you can think “What do I want to create for myself today?” A clean and organized environment, some alone time, a healthy recipe, more knowledge about a study topic, peace of mind by getting a dreaded task out of the way.

What do you want to create in your social life? More fun gatherings with friends, more one-on-one quality time, more time with your family? See if you can bring that into existence.

What do you want to create in the world? If you want more people to understand how you function with your disorder, you can write an article about it. If you want to create more general friendliness or happiness for others, start with yourself and take care of someone in need in your environment.

Instead of focusing on getting input, try to focus on creating output. And let me know how you feel when you do. I can always use something new to read. Oh…wait. ;-)

Kisses.

Aug 212013
 

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Proudly presenting the only fruit I had in Hungary up until yesterday morning. (Bananas not included: I brought about a crateful of those with me from home and had them for breakfast for the entire first week of our vacation) 

A particularly windy and not-at-all warm morning in Hungary with Manfriend still sound asleep, me and my idiotic morning person tendences wake up. Bored and hungry, I pull a sweater over my head and stroll towards the minimarket for breakfast. I decide to get a cup of coffee while satisfying another one of my basic needs: Internetz.

There is free Wi-Fi at the reception so with coffee in hand, I park my butt on a bench outside and check my work e-mail (lol no) browse Twitter and Tumblr. While I am sitting there, drinking my coffee and tending to my pathetic Internet addiction, a Whatsapp message conversation transpires between me and my best friend Angel.

Somewhere in 2013, Angel made herself a weight loss goal to reach before her 25th birthday: 30 pounds. A short, curvacious Cape Verdian girl with stunning smile and the most gorgeous waist-length curls ever, she looked good at whatever weight. But I knew she was heavier than was good for her, and that she weighed more than she wanted to weigh.

Already looking great in my eyes, after setting her goal, slow but steady*, she started look great in a smaller package. It was so gradual I didn’t even notice it on my own. It wasn’t until a mutual friend pointed it out to me I really gave her a ‘wait a sec’ lookover. She proudly told me she had already lost 15 pounds by that point. All of a sudden I could see it. Not somewhere pinpointable on the body, but visible overall. She looked great, and only started to look better.

I went on vacation when she was only a few pounds away from her actual goal. I didn’t know if she had made it so I inquired. She reported she did: She had lost the 30 pounds!

“How does it feel, sweetheart” I typed, in all honesty expecting something along the lines of an excited “Great!” and “I am so happy when I look in the mirror!” or “I can’t wait to go shopping” or “I love the muscle definition.” But she didn’t say anything like that. Instead, she told me what it really felt like to her:

“Like my body is healing itself. That’s how it feels. By giving it healthy food and moving it I gave my body the opportunity to, and now it is healing itself. All this time I had a Diesel engine and I was giving it the wrong fuel. That’s not good for your body’s performance.”

She added “Now if only it wasn’t so damn expensive to eat organic I could start giving it bio-diesel!!!”

Sitting there on a bench, drinking a hardcore double dose of caffeinne on an empty stomach, what she said humbled me. It reminded me of the most important thing that happens when eating healthy, exercising and taking care of your body: The body heals itself.

If you give your body the right ingredients and the proper amount of exercise, you create the right internal environment. When you stop giving your body the wrong things, you take away a source of continuous stress for the body to deal with. Without the stream of junk food, sugar, alcohol or whatever other vice, the body doesn’t have to do execute immediate damage control all the time. Instead, it can focus on other things. Healing itself.

I wrote something along those lines before in Girl Meets Yoga, just phrased differently: Your body loves you (read or download that section here). It will try to get you healthy again if you give it a chance.

And when it does, you will feel better. Healthier. More energetic. Maybe you’ll sleep better. It might help your mood, your sex life, your concentration. Maybe you’ll feel minor ailments go away. Maybe you’ll even notice that a bigger health problem will become less dehabilitating over time.

Humbled by my conversation with Angel, I looked at my coffee and mentally ‘tsk’-ed myself.

I’m healthy, sure. I haven’t let myself go completely, but that’s not my great body awareness or discipline. It’s just the habit of green juice in the morning and salads for lunch I have at home. My obsession for high intensity (and slightly insane) yoga takes care of the rest.

But I’m not at my healthiest. My high percentage raw food days are so far behind me I can’t even see the celery stalks in the distance anymore. I drink more coffee than I should, I eat more meat than I ever intended when returning to non-vegeterianism** and I think Tony Chocolonely could continue to exist based solely on my Caramel&Seasalt chocolate purchases.

Angel hand-delivered me my favorite type of inspiration: Catapulting me right into action.

Immediately after our conversation, I downed the rest of my coffee*** and walked back into the minimarket. I got myself half a pound of grapes, a 1.5 liter bottle of water, some veggies and some whole grain bread. I had the grapes and a whole grain bun with peanut butter for breakfast. I did some yoga postures in the toilet facilities (lack of privacy and excess of wind gusts outside) and freaked out a cleaning lady with my backbend. During the day I drank a lot of water, had cherry tomatoes, more whole grain bread. I just tried to eat sort of healthy****.

Right now I work with what I got; but I at least make an effort. Back home, near a juicer, Bikram yoga and actual grocery stores I can continue to do so a lot more effectively but the underlying point remains.

Because Angel made me aware of a very basic thing. By eating right, exercising, and other healthy behaviors*****, we are creating space and opportunity for our bodies to heal themselves.

Think about this for a second. Forget about weight loss, looking better naked, Nike twitter updates, abs or pecs, Instagrammable pictures, postures or track records, daily food intakes, the struggle of chosing healthy food over junk food and the effort it can take to get up from the couch to exercise. Instead, think of the favor you are doing your entire body.

Think of it not as a challenge, but as an opportunity, the possibility of creating health by doing what you do. Think of the positive effect you’re having on your internal organs, your digestive tract, your skin, your brain. Think of the nutrients you give yourself by eating healthy, the endorphines and muscle exercise you treat yourself to every time you have a great work-out. Think of the favor you do your blood sugar levels and your cholestorel by abstaining from cupcakes and McDonalds.

Think not about what you are giving up, but think about it as giving. To yourself. You are giving yourself something. You are creating the optimal environment for your body to take care of itself, of you. Just give your body what it needs. From thereonout, trust it and watch what happens. Heal Yo’ Self.

I know I am going to put some more effort into my health habits from hereonout.

Partly motivated by looking forward to referring to this blogpost with ‘(an) Angel made me do it’, ‘touched by (an) Angel’ and ‘On the wings of (Angel’s) inspiration’.

*I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how Angel pulled it off so I asked and here it is: Angel changed her diet to mostly pure, natural food, based on protein and fats, veggies and fruit and some slow carbs like sweet potato and brown rice.

She also created a quite impressive gym-routine. Five or six (!) times a week she would work out: 2 high intensity cardio work-outs, 2 weight training sessions, 1 low impact cardio and 1 yoga session. My favorite thing she said was that yoga wasn’t really exercising – she said it felt more like ‘opening up and connecting with her body.’

**Not going to lie, I changed back to meat-eating for multiple reasons. One of those reasons was bacon. That reason has been getting out of control a little bit.

***I couldn’t throw it away. It was COFFEE. I mean, REAL, actually made from coffee beans, ACTUAL COFFEE. I haven’t had any non-vending machine-made-from-powder-and-bullshit coffee in a week.

****A for effort for the rest of the day but for dinner I had the most horrible cheese pizza in my life and need a licensed therapist to help me deal with it. There was feta on it. 

*****I feel this can range from rest days to enemas, massages to meditation, saunas to juice feasts. However ‘normal’ or ‘eccentric’, I’ll leave the interpretation of healthy behavior upto you. 

Jun 032013
 

So. I was thinking about motivation. More specifically how we start doing things. To be even more specific, I started thinking about that one moment where it happens: We actually start.

We start to do something new. A new routine emerges. We finally do that thing we’ve been putting off for a while. We get up from the couch and get into action. We stop procrastinating.

What happens in that moment? What is that defining thing that creates the momentum? I think it’s in that thing where the real shift happens. In that moment, that magic happens; in that moment change begins, new habits start, new roads are taken.

I don’t know exactly what happens in that exact moment, except that it is definitely that happens on the inside, because of something on the inside. 

I don’t know about you guys, but my friend can tell me how awesome running is and orate for hours about the benefits – it doesn’t make me run for jack. Yet, when I remember the article I once read about running being about as effective as antidepressants, I will put on my running shoes and lap a few miles.

I can read a million recipes for chia pudding, a type of salad or a juice, mentally acknowledge that it sounds nice and never think of it again. And one morning I am in the mood for something healthy and I fall in love with cherry-chia pudding, balsamico-strawberry salad or cilantro-juice, all by myself.

My father can tell me to look in a certain direction for my career: I will listen, nod politely and not really do anything with the information. Until suddenly I am overcome with a sense of purpose and frantically start writing letters of application because I want to work more, and in that specific field.

People can tell me I should go to yoga, but I will ignore their encouragement. Until I feel it click. Suddenly I feel it, it’s happening on the inside. And on a surge of that, I go to yoga. People can tell me to start writing again, but I will not do it. Then one morning it will break out of me and I am writing until my fingers are blue with ink*.

Nothing happens for me, not until I feel something click, not until some inner spark lights a fire on the inside. My behavior doesn’t change until I feel it resonate with something within.

With that in mind, I took a look around and realized that almost always we look for motivation outside of ourselves. We look for the people we admire, the things other people are doing, books and articles on how to motivate yourself — You might even be here on my website, looking for it.

And it can motivate you, definitely – but only because it sparked the fire that was already ready to ignite within you, only because it adds to the final weight that pulls the lever down. And I started thinking, that you could make that thing click or that fire happen, easier, more often, all by yourself.

  •  Really get in touch with yourself.** We have so much impulses coming in that it can be hard to figure out whatever the hell is happening on your inside anyway. While what’s on the inside is actually the most interesting part! What can help is turning down all the information coming from the outside; spending more time alone and off the Internet. You can also just turn up the volume of your inner impulses by stream-of-consciousness writing, or just paying more attention to yourself while you are going about your day.
  • Literally think “what do I want?” more. We are all a bunch of people-pleasers and we tend to think of other people first. While it’s perfectly healthy and normal to reason from YOUR own perspective! Once you attune yourself to that you become used to thinking in terms of what you want instead of what (you think) is expected of you or what you think you should want. Certain themes and impulses will come up more often or more forcefully, and when you start acting upon those and it feels good, “right” for you in a way, this can start doing the trick without any outer stimulants!
  • On that note, ask yourself more questions like that! What would I like? What do I need? In life, in love, in business, in friends, in food, in exercise? What is good for me? Not because you see it’s good for someone else, but what is good for you specifically? You are the expert on yourself. Start asking yourself all the expert questions.
  • Trust yourself. Turn on the inner GPS more often/all the time; if you give yourself a little more wiggle room, you’ll learn to wiggle in the right direction***. We have the tendency to think of ourselves as unmotivated while in fact, everything we do when we are motivated is just as much who we are as the lazier parts. If you stop forcing yourself into things you ‘have to do’, you might find yourself naturally levitating towards the things you ‘want to do’.

Honestly, a little more faith in your inner workings and yourself as a person might very well be the way to find lasting and honest intrinsic motivation. Especially if you add a little silence and respect to the soul to the mix.

You might be clicking or burning away on all the right things, just because of those.

Thumbs up & Namaste, babies. Have a lovely week.

*YAY for being left-handed. 

**Not in the dirty way. On the other hand…if you think it will help I am not going to stop you. Go nuts. 

***I LOVE the word ‘wiggle’.