key to success is commitment plus action. The first enemy of change is EXCUSES
that bombard your mind and tell you—“You can’t!” You can have great ideas
of what you want to do, but if excuses keep you from acting, nothing much will
change. There are innumerable excuses why you can’t do something and only one
really great reason why you can. You can do one important thing to change today
because God said you can. Philippians 4:13 says, I can do everything through
Christ, who gives me strength.”
DISCOURAGEMENT tries to creep in as you seek to change.
An effective, successful person needs to understand that resistance to doing
the right thing is normal and to be expected. You can be intentional in your
family, your work, or your church even if the people around you or your
circumstances don’t change. Become a different person yourself, and as you
grow, everything around you will appear to change too.
enemy, ANXIETY, is always produced by looking backward or
forward. One of my professors in grad school put it this way, “The further we
move either back in time or ahead in time from this very moment, the more
anxious and out of control we feel.” The past is over, and only God knows what
is going to happen tomorrow—and you have no control over that either. So, you
must live for today, intentionally doing the one small thing that will take you
another step closer to your goal.
events in your life produce the enemy of DISRUPTIONS. Whether it’s
illness, an accident or a child’s bad decision—disruptions are going to happen
in your life. You have more power than you think. Focus on the things you can
control—your thoughts, attitudes and behaviors. When you are faced with the
enemy of disruptions, hold yourself accountable by simply picking yourself up
again and getting back on track to pursue that next right ONE THING.
WAITING is the last enemy of change that I want to mention.
Waiting drives me crazy! Trying to rush into success is like trying to rush
into love—you may think you are there before you really are. Hard work is the
price you must pay for success. If you’re willing to pay the price, the hard
work will pay off. It just often takes time.
Bergson, a Nineteenth century French philosopher said, “To exist is to change, to
change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” Refuse
to allow the enemies of change to steal your dream. Instead, you can press
through and win by doing the next right ONE THING.
Intentional ONE THING Challenge
you could do ONE THING and know that it would make a significant, lasting,
possibly life-changing difference in your life, would you do it? Dr. Carlson
shares the power of ONE THING and why you should get
started doing your ONE THING today.
enemy of change do you struggle with the most? We’d love to hear your stories.
Post your comments below.
IS FLIRTING CHEATING WHEN YOU’RE IN A RELATIONSHIP?
Is flirting cheating when you’re in love with someone? Here’s
something you really need to know and understand before jumping to conclusions.
Do you flirt with an attractive friend when your partner isn’t
Or a better way to put the same question is, do you enjoy having
a happy conversation with an attractive friend or coworker?
Most people press the panic button when it comes to flirting.
And almost always, that’s because they don’t understand what
flirting really is all about.
What is flirting?
Flirting is a simple idea. It’s a conversation where you attract
the other person using your charm and your conversational skills.
If you attract someone while talking to them, you’re already
flirting with them. Of course, sometimes, that could happen unintentionally
If you flirt with someone, it doesn’t have to mean that you’re
interested in sleeping with them. You’re just having an interesting
conversation that makes you realize just how attractive you really are.
Even when you decide to go out with your own partner, you dress
up and wear something that may show a bit of skin. But your partner already
knows how you look naked. So why are you revealing your assets to other guys?
It’s because you like looking good, don’t you?
And that’s exactly what flirting does on the inside. It makes
you realize your own sexuality.
Read this before flirting with someone else!
Just so you know, flirting outside the relationship may not work
for everyone. It never works if you’re dating an insecure partner who feels
threatened whenever you’re around someone your partner perceives as more attractive.
If your partner has low self esteem, they would definitely hate
you if you flirt with another person or if they even hear that you flirted with
So before you go flirting with everyone else, keep your
partner’s insecurity and jealousy in mind.
Why does flirting feel so good?
Before we even get to chatting about whether flirting is
cheating, let’s get to why flirting feels so good. Here are 4 good reasons.
#1 It helps keep your sexuality alive and makes you feel
better about your own attractiveness.
#2 You become a better flirt, which makes you a better tease
and a better conversationalist.
#3 It makes you feel more confident about yourself and your
#4 It doesn’t leave you frustrated or restricted by your
If you can flirt naturally, it shows that you have all the
charming traits in you already, and that makes you a really good catch.
The difference between harmless flirting, touchy flirting and
Is flirting cheating? Well, it depends on the kind of flirting
you have in mind. There are 3 types of flirting you could indulge in when
you’re talking to someone outside the relationship.
#1 Harmless flirting. This is the kind of flirting
where you use your gestures and your voice to have a happy conversation. You
tease and you laugh, and you have a great time. This is perfectly acceptable
even when you’re in a relationship. If your partner can’t handle it, it only
means they’re insecure or feel offended when you give anyone else your
#2 Touchy flirting. In this kind of flirting, you
do all of the above and yet, you take it one step further. You exercise your
hands and almost all the time, your hand’s resting on some part of your
friend’s body. You may place your hand causally, but it could definitely be
misinterpreted by everyone around.
#3 Talking dirty. When anyone talks about flirting,
every prudish mind thinks of this kind. Flirting is casual. Talking dirty
definitely isn’t. If you talk dirty, compliment the other person sexually or
try to get them to sleep with you, then that’s completely unacceptable when
you’re already in a relationship.
So if you do indulge in a bit of flirting with others when your
partner isn’t around, restrict it to the harmless kind. It’s safe and fun, and
no secure partner takes offence of it.
Flirting and the need to feel appreciated
All of us have the need to feel appreciated. And that’s why we
dress up, use makeup, workout or get a better job. Somewhere deep inside all of
us, we need reassurances from someone else to feel good about ourselves.
When you get into a relationship, you feel great about yourself
because you’ve found someone who truly loves you and finds you *exciting*. But
as time goes by and the sweet and sexy compliments start to become a routine,
it forces you to look for reassurances from outside the relationship.
If an attractive colleague compliments how good you look in a
new dress, you feel good about it even though you already know you’re wearing a
cute outfit, don’t you? That’s the power of reassurance.
And it’s the same feeling you get when you flirt with someone
else. It helps you realize how sexually attractive you still are, and that
makes you feel more confident and sexy.
Is flirting when you’re in a relationship really cheating?
All of us flirt naturally, whether we realize it or not. Many
lovers who don’t want their own partners to flirt with anyone else may just be
hypocrites. Of course, you may not like the thought very much. But put yourself
in your partner’s place. Wouldn’t you enjoy a conversation with an attractive
someone other than your own partner?
The more you suppress your flirting side, the more you’d feel
like you’ve lost your sexuality. And that would in turn affect your confidence
in bed. So is flirting cheating when it can make you a better lover?
Times when flirting can be a lot of fun
#1 Your partner isn’t around, and you’re in the middle of a
conversation with someone you admire or find attractive.
#2 If you’re talking to someone who won’t misinterpret your
conversation, and is flirting with you just to have a fun conversation.
#3 You’re feel unsexy and you really need to feel like you
still have the sexual charm in you.
Times when you should avoid flirting
#1 Your partner is insecure or you’re dating someone who’s
extremely jealous. *good luck with that relationship!*
#2 You’re talking to someone who will misinterpret your
conversation or assume that you’ve started falling for them even if you’re only
trying to have a fun conversation.
#3 Your partner’s friends are around, and they would want
nothing better than to exaggerate the situation and spread slutty stories about
you *because they’re probably jealous*.
#4 Your relationship is going through a rough patch and you
need to focus on building your relationship instead of sweet talking someone
Flirt, but never leave your partner in the dark
Flirting is healthy for a relationship, but both of you should
be aware of each other’s abilities to sweet talk someone else. You need to have
a great relationship with your partner, and both of you should have a lot of
trust and love in the relationship.
And most importantly, don’t set different rules for yourself and
your partner. If you’ve flirted with someone behind your lover’s back, you
partner has every right to do the same thing too.
After all, you’ve flirted now and then and you know it was
harmless, so why restrict your partner from having a pleasant and interesting
conversation when you’re not around?
And let’s face it, you have no choice anyways! All of us flirt
or brighten up when we meet someone attractive.
Love recklessly and flirt with caution
Would you hate yourself if you have a warm and pleasant
conversation with someone of the opposite sex? Would you hate receiving a
compliment from anyone other than your own partner? It would make you feel
better about yourself, wouldn’t it?
Flirting is a natural ability of humans, and it makes us feel
really good about ourselves. And as long as you know where to draw the line,
it’s all fine. Instead of restricting yourself or behaving like entering a
relationship means banning all happy interactions with the opposite sex, learn
to accept that even if you or your partner indulges in a bit of harmless
flirting now and then, it doesn’t mean either of you love the other person any
If you love your partner, it’s within your moral control to hold
yourself back from going any further or cheating on them. Restrictions from
outside won’t change anything. So if you must flirt to feel good about
yourself, go right ahead, but always remember to give your partner the first
preference and always avoid making them feel insecure or neglected.So is flirting cheating? Well, it all depends on the way you look at it.
If it works for you and your relationship and makes you feel attractive, I’d
say go for it. But if you feel like it affects your relationship negatively,
then hold your reins back and do something else to feel good about yourself.
WHY COMMUNICATION WON’T SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE (PART 2) – WHAT WILL
The Relate Institute
So after readingpart 1, you’ve recognized this annoying little cycle in your marriage (one of you pursues and one withdraws, you both withdraw, you both pursue, etc.). But while your spouse is going on and on about that thing you do that bugs them so much and you know you’re about to get into a fight, how do you stop it? How do you break the cycle? This is the question we get from couples everyday. “Okay, we get it. We do that thing, but how do we get out of it?”
Here’s the trick: We all have insecurities and fears in our relationships that we need help overcoming. When you can help soothe each other’s anxieties about where you stand in the relationship you can avoid eruptions that turn into fights. When we soothe each other, we can feel calm and discuss issues calmly and safely, instead of from a place of fear and reactivity. So basically, you are trying to respond to your partner’s needs and give your partner the chance to respond to you by expressing your needs to them.
This may sound trite, but honestly, just being able to stop yourselves and recognize, “we’re getting caught in our cycle” in the middle of an argument can change everything. All of a sudden you are fighting a common enemy–”the cycle”–instead of each other.
2. Understand what’s driving the cycle.
It’s not going to help you very much if you can say, “We’re stuck in our cycle right now,” if you don’t know why the cycle is even happening. It’s important to understand what goes on for each of you internally during the cycle. In general, our visible responses (yelling, crying, running away, shutting down, etc.) are being driven by something deeper. This “something” will be different for everyone, but it usually involves feelings of inadequacy, fear of losing your partner, shame, hurt, fear of not being important, embarrassment, loneliness, etc. These feelings are often driven by the most fundamental and important unmet attachment needs of belonging, acceptance, safety, and connection.
3. Learn how to express the emotions driving the cycle when it happens.
Instead of continuing to shut down and walk away when your wife starts nagging or yelling, recognize that you are shutting down, ask yourself what you are really feeling (beneath the annoyance and frustration), and communicate that to her. For example, you might be feeling overwhelmed by her nagging because you feel like you’re already doing so much and you don’t need her to add to your to-do list. This “nagging” makes you feel like you’re not doing a good enough job as a husband because she’s not happy, even though you’re trying your best, and this makes you feel inadequate as a husband. It might even make you feel like a failure. That’s a pretty scary place to be. Try sharing the fear of failing as a husband with her, instead of running away from her and your emotions again.
And to the “nagging” partner, try to really consider what’s happening for you.
Are you feeling like he’s not responding to you? Is that why you have to complain? Does it feel like you aren’t being heard in your marriage? How is that making you feel? It might make you worried that when he forgets to do things you ask, it means he isn’t listening to you, which means what you say isn’t important, which means you aren’t important to him. That’s also a pretty scary place to be – to not feel important to your spouse, the person who has committed to love and cherish you forever. Try sharing those fears with him instead of reaching out by nagging.
It’ll be a lot easier to respond to each other when you change the way you reach out to get your emotional attachment needs met. Instead of nagging to make sure he hears you, or running away to make sure she chases you, try actually sharing your deep-dark-scary-fears and see what happens. We have found that it’s natural to respond to those we love when we can see and feel their pain with them. If you can access that pain for yourself and share it with your partner, you’ve reached an entirely new level of safety, acceptance, and connection.
**Now, that example was pretty stereotypical, and it happens the other way around as well–with the husband nagging and the wife shutting down. And it also happens around different issues. For one couple it might be that one partner is cheating on the diet they are working on together, for another it might be that one partner always has to be right, for another it might be that one can’t keep the house clean, etc. etc. etc. The issue is always unique to the situation, but it always comes back to the same cycle and same underlying emotions, fears, and attachment needs that need to be responded to and soothed.
Keep in mind, it may sound like 3 simple steps to changing your relationship, but accessing your underlying emotions is very difficult, and sharing them with your partner can sometimes feel like an insurmountable task because of the vulnerability it requires. Don’t rush the steps. Take your time helping each other figure out what you’re really feeling. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in your relationship.
We hear from couples all the time who say they don’t talk to their spouses anymore.
“We don’t have anything to talk about.” “We know everything about each other.” “She doesn’t want to share her thoughts.” “He doesn’t like talking about his feelings.” “Talking turns into fighting, so we avoid talking.”
This happens to a lot of couples and can create a lot of distance – both emotionally and physically.
If you and your spouse haven’t been talking a lot lately or don’t feel like you have a lot to talk about, don’t get discouraged. The good news is that you can get better at talking. You can.
The real question is, are you willing to?
Once upon a time you two had a lot to talk about, and you enjoyed sharing your stories from the day, your deepest fears, and your biggest dreams. Somewhere along the way life happened and you may or may not have unintentionally stopped talking and listening to each other like you used to.
Good news, with a few simple tips, you will be able to practice opening up again, and listening with love.
And the good old days are already on their way back.
Here is a short excerpt from the chapter in our book called Connected Conversations –
“1. Acknowledge each other.
When you wake up, go to sleep, leave, come home, or walk into a room, acknowledge your spouse with words – even just a simple “hey, babe” or “you look nice.” By acknowledging your spouse’s presence in a friendly and engaging manner, you’ll help conversation flow more naturally.
2. Share first.
If you and your spouse have a hard time talking, decide to be the one who will share first. Share the details of your day, even the seemingly normal ones. What was funny, what was hard, and what do you need advice on? Practice your storytelling skills. As you open up to your spouse about your day, he or she will be more likely to open up to you as well.
3. Open your heart.
At some point, if you really want to feel close to your spouse and be madly in love again, you’ll need to be willing to share more than surface-level feelings. Share your emotions, your goals, and your dreams. This may not come naturally to some people, but it is something you can get better at and more comfortable with through practice. As you learn to be vulnerable, real, and sensitive, good things will happen.
4. Ask meaningful questions.
Avoid yes-or-no questions, and if your spouse gives you a one-word answer, try to ask a follow-up question. Ask about your spouse’s worries, fears, hobbies, interests, and favorite pastimes. Actively listen to what your spouse shares with you and validate their thoughts, feelings, and opinions.” – From Love is Patient, Love is Kind: A Christian Marriage Devotional
Now, these things are easier said than done.
Create an ideal setting.
In our new book we also talk about ways to create an ideal setting for talking. If you can create rituals and routines that invite connected conversations, then you will be creating a safe, healthy, and warm foundation for a lifetime of talking, sharing, laughing, and loving.
We love what Dave & Ashley Willis suggest- that some men and women are more apt to talk when they are side-by-side instead of face to face. So instead of staring at each other over dinner wondering what to talk about, go for a walk, drive in the car, or bake a treat together. Conversation will come far more naturally than if you are just staring and waiting for it to come.
Often one of the best times to talk is right before bed. Set a goal to put your phones/devices away and just lay side-by-side or cuddle for ten minutes – just be. See what kinds of conversations come up when you take the lead and start to share or ask questions. You also may be surprised at how intimate your conversations are if you spend a little time loving each other first. That may seem like the opposite way to approach things for some people, but sometimes physical love first can invite emotional sharing after. Just saying…
And finally, the most important thing.
Pray for inspiration that is tailored to YOUR needs! God knows your spouse, and all that he or she is going through and dealing with. If anyone can help you navigate a more connected conversation with your spouse on the daily, it is God.
If you will pray for discernment of your spouse’s true needs, and for eyes to see ways to serve, lift, support, love, and be there for your spouse – then you will know exactly what to do when you two aren’t talking. And you will be inspired about specific things you can do to invite more conversation and communication in.
If you listen to the promptings that come to you, you will know how you can learn to open up more to your spouse, how to feel safe again, how to overcome past hurts, and how to listen without judgment or a need to retaliate.
We are so confident that things can start to get better the very moment you decide you want to improve. Whatever you do, don’t give up on your relationship because there is currently a lot of distance between you two. Trust that God will help you close that gap, heal old wounds, and bring your hearts together again.
Read why communication won’t save your marriage here and here.
So you have a few questions…
Let’s do an impromptu Q&A session – thoughts on this little thing we call com-mun-i-cating.
Q. What do you do if your spouse just isn’t in the mood for talking? A. Don’t press it. Instead, find a way to connect without talking. Rub his shoulders, give her a hug, make him a sandwich, ask her if she wants to cuddle and watch a show. Seriously, don’t force the talking thing. Instead, plan something fun to do this weekend, leave your spouse a love note in the car, or find another way to stay close and connected to your spouse, even if you aren’t talking a lot.
Q. What do you do if your spouse doesn’t care about your emotions, goals, and dreams? A. Whatever you do, don’t point out that he/she isn’t listening, doesn’t care, or that they don’t want to talk. Just because your spouse isn’t well-practiced in the art of listening, validating, and being sensitive, doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t care. Be okay with whatever level of attention, listening, and conversation your spouse can offer you right now – because those skills can improve!
Q. What do you do if you share first and then your spouse has nothing to say? A. Recently I (April) was at a MOPS meeting where a Marriage Therapist was being interviewed. She spoke about how sometimes one spouse takes up too much room in the relationship and the other spouse just lets them take over. She said if you normally do a lot of the talking in the relationship, step back and give your spouse more room, more space, and more time in the relationship and you’ll be surprised at how they open up.
Q. How do you become a better listener? A. Being a better listener isn’t just about skills, it’s about listening with your heart. It’s about really caring about what your spouse is saying because you love your spouse, and you want to feel close, connected, and emotionally intimate with him/her. Evaluate your heart, the demands on your time, and the distractions that normally sneak in, and you’ll know where and how you can become a better listener. Oh, and you’ll appreciate these 5 tips.
“THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN COMMUNICATION IS HEARING WHAT ISN’T SAID” ~ PETER DRUCKER
Q. Why do my spouse and I not talk anymore? A. In this article we talk about
The Five Levels of Why
The Five Levels of Why is a method Sakichi Toyoda came up with and it was originally used at the Toyota Motor Corporation (here).
The gist of the method is to repeat the question “Why” five times until you get to the root cause of the problem or process and are then able to begin asking “How” questions in order to find a proper solution.
For example (now, this story could both ways for sure) –
Why are we not talking? Because he had a long day at work and just wants to relax.
Why does he want to relax? Because work is stressful.
Why is work stressful? Well, it’s not just that work is stressful, but it seems that everything is piling up at all once – his reports are due Friday, his mom just got out of the hospital, he hasn’t been sleeping well, he needs to take his truck into the shop asap, and his anxiety is sky high.
Why isn’t he sleeping well and why is his anxiety so high? He’s worried his mom is going to need to go to a care center, and wondering who is going to pay for it. He’s been avoiding everything he needs to do by staying up late and watching shows, and he can’t seem to shut his brain off at night. He feels alone, overwhelmed, and exhausted.
That is only four why’s and it’s preeetty clear that perhaps his wife could figure out some how’s:
– How could she help him with his truck, or his mom? – How could she be there to listen to him vent about his anxieties and worries at night instead of going to sleep at 9pm? – How could she do something to serve him and make his day easier?
She could encourage him to play basketball with his buddies, or send him an encouraging text during the day, or spend more time cuddling with him before going to bed.
And yes, we could ask a few more why’s here and get down to some nitty gritty details on his anxieties and his mom’s aging, and his truck (yes, he loves his truck), but we’ll stop here.
And yes, he should take some responsibility for the fact that he isn’t showing up 100% as a husband, and yes, he should strive to intentionally give more time, attention, and connection to his wife, but as you can see, he is super super super worn out.
And instead of talking, what he may need is a lot of love.
So, you see, it’s easy to look at not talking as the problem, when really the problem to address is something else. And if you can address the real problem, then it is wayyyy easier to fix the problem of not talking.
So ask the five why’s, or as many as you need, and address the root cause of the problem.
Q. What do you do if you’re not talking that much because every time you do you start to fight? A. Focus on listening, on validating, on being vulnerable, and on apologizing. Take responsibility for your part of the conversation and remember it takes two to tango. If you can practice healthy and safe conversation, then you will probably be able to keep cool, calm, and collected, which will help your spouse feel more calm, safe, and willing to talk.
Q. Where do I start? A. If you are at a lack for great conversation starters, here are some of our favorites. Oh, and we just used these when we were driving home from our ski date last week. We skipped the ones we didn’t love and had a blast with the ones we did like. We also love these nine questions and these 36 questions. Read through them and find a few you want to ask your spouse today. Start there.
You can also start with technology. If you are already avoid each other and spend too much time on your devices, start texting more often throughout the day. Or use an app to connect, leave a video message, or share a pic with your spouse. Start where you are and you’ll get better as you keep at it.
Q. Why does it bother me so much that we don’t talk a lot? A. It may be because your love languages are “words of affirmation” or “quality time.” Or it may be because what you are both longing for isn’t necessarily communication, but rather, connection – emotional and physical connection.
Renowned marriage researcher and author, Dr. John Gottman, speaks of “bids for connection,” which include any small bid for your spouse’s attention, love, empathy, affection, and love.
What you do with your spouse’s bids for connections matters.
Especially if you want to talk more.
If you are aching and aiming for more connection in your conversations and in your marriage, then please check out this article on 25 Ways to Give Your Spouse the Time of Day and see if trying some of these things doesn’t invite more conversation, and more heart-to-hearts about the things that matter most.
We hope something in this article has inspired you with something you can do today to improve communication and connection with your spouse. We’re confident that you and your spouse can start talking again, especially if you take the lead and decide to make an intentional effort to improve.
Ultimately you know why you and your spouse aren’t talking. You probably knew before you even clicked on this article. If you search your heart, it will probably be very obvious to you what may be getting in the way of having connected conversations with your spouse. The minute you know what to do, we invite you to do it! You are the only one who can take steps today towards nurturing your marriage. As you do, your spouse is likely to follow suit!
We would love to hear your tips and thoughts below!
DON’T HESITATE TO DO THESE 8 HARD THINGS FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
You need to do hard things to be happy in life…because the hard things ultimately build you up and change your life from the inside out.
Daily stress is one of the primary causes of major mental and physical health problems in our lives: it can cause heart disease, anxiety, sleep deprivation, auto-immune disorders, weight problems, unhappiness, and even deep depression.
But we’re busy – we all have places to be, things to do and people to see. So, how do we alleviate stress and still get our work done right, without neglecting our loved ones and ourselves? What can we realistically start doing today to nurture our mental health and overall wellness?
I’m going to be brief about this, because time is of the essence. There are eight simple (but not easy) things that need to be practiced. A few mindset shifts and a couple actions that take only a few minutes a day. These can’t solve the most severe stress-related problems, but they can help most of us in a major way.
1. Be in the moment, completely, with just one task at a time.
Instead of being in a stressful task-switching state of mind, take your next task, let everything else go, and just be in the moment with this one task.
Let yourself be immersed in this task by letting go of the feeling that you need to quickly rush through it – that you need to move on to the next task waiting for you. There will always be a next task, because that’s the nature of TO-DO lists – they’re never-ending. So let those later tasks come later. Just be 100% in this one task, like it’s your entire world.
Bottom line: Slow down. Breathe. Review your commitments and goals. Put first things first. Do one task at a time. Start now. Take a 5-minute break in an hour. Repeat. (And always remember, results are more important than the time it takes to achieve them.)
2. Let go of controlling what can’t be controlled.
Fear is causing you to be stressed, not external factors like your job obligations or family issues. Those external factors are just a part of life, but they become stressful when you fear failure, fear people won’t like you, fear you’re not good enough, fear abandonment, and so forth.
Your fears are based on some fantasy in your head about how things are supposed to be (and you fear that your life may not live up to that fantasy): you have an image in your head that you’re going to be perfect, have people like you, be comfortable all the time, and succeed on all fronts. These fantasies are a way to feel in control of a world that you don’t actually control, but they’re hurting you by causing fear and stress. Instead, let go of control. Be OK with chaos and uncertainty, and trust that things will work out. You’ll fear less and feel less stress. (Read The Untethered Soul.)
3. Accept people just the way they are, and smile.
We get upset with others because they don’t meet our fantasy of how they “should” act. Instead, try accepting them for who they are, and recognize that, like you, they’re imperfect and seeking happiness and struggling with finding it. They’re doing their best. Accept them just the way they are. In most cases it’s impossible to change them anyway (and it’s rude to try). So save yourself from needless stress…
Instead of trying to change others, give them your support today and lead by example.
4. Perform short mindfulness practices.
You don’t have to meditate for 30 minutes to get the benefits of mindfulness…
You can do a quick body scan (focus on your body and notice how each part of it feels right now) in 30 seconds.
You can pay attention to your breath for 60 seconds (listen to it and feel it).
You can watch your thoughts about concerns, fears, judgments, doubts, and ideals for a minute (recognize that these thoughts are simply thoughts; you don’t need to believe them or react to them).
You can walk mindfully, paying attention to your feet, your body, your breath and your surroundings, as you walk.
You can do each of these short mindfulness practices in little bits whenever you need them throughout your day.
5. Purge untrue thoughts.
You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be. Behind every stressful feeling is an untrue thought. Before the thought you weren’t suffering, but after the thought you began to suffer. When you recognize that the thought isn’t true, once again there is no suffering. When you change your thoughts, you change your life. So next time you catch a thought stressing you out, ask yourself these four questions:
Is it true? – This question can change your life. Be still and ask yourself if the thought you’re dealing with is true.
Can I be absolutely, 100% certain that it’s true? – This is another opportunity to open your mind and to go deeper into the unknown, to find the answers that live beneath what you think you know.
How do I feel when I think this thought? – With this question, you begin to notice internal cause and effect. You can see that when you believe the thought, there is a disturbance that can range from mild discomfort to outright panic and fear. What do you feel? How do you treat the situation (or person) you’re thinking about, how do you treat yourself, when you believe that thought? Be specific.
Who would I be, and what would I do differently, if I were not thinking this thought? – Imagine yourself in your situation (or in the presence of that person), without believing the thought. How would your life be different if you didn’t have the ability to even think this stressful thought? How would you feel? Which do you prefer – life with or without the thought? Which feels more peaceful?
Sometimes the reason we struggle with stress and insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes circumstances with everyone else’s public highlight reel. Give it up. Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 15. Follow your own path, write your own life story, and never give up on yourself.
Next time you catch yourself comparing your life situation to someone else’s, refer to these two formulas:
Happiness formula = Do YOUR very best and feel good about it.
Unhappiness formula = Compare yourself to everyone else.
7. Track what’s going well and give thanks.
Overlooking everything that’s wonderful is a tragedy. Do your best and surrender the rest. When you stay stuck in worried thoughts of the life you think you should have, you end up missing the beauty of what you do have. You will have a hard time ever being happy if you aren’t thankful for the good things in your life right now.
Here’s a super simple, five-minute, daily gratitude exercise that has worked wonders for thousands of our coaching clients over the past decade:
Every evening before you go to bed, write down three things that went well during the day and their causes. Simply provide a short, causal explanation for each good thing.
That’s it. We spend tens of thousands of dollars on expensive electronics, big homes, fancy cars and lavish vacations hoping for a boost of happiness. This is a free alternative, and it works.
In a study of this gratitude exercise’s effectiveness by Martin Seligman, participants were asked to follow those exact instructions for just one week. After one week the participants were measurably 2% happier than before, but in follow-up tests their happiness kept on increasing, from 5% at one month, to 9% at six months. Even more interestingly, the participants were only required to keep this gratitude journal for one week, but the majority of them continued journaling on their own because they enjoyed it.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your body is the greatest instrument you own. So when all else fails, and your stress levels are mounting, use your body to sooth your mind.
The mind reflects your body by responding to its levels of tension, rate of breath, speed of movement and mental focus. Likewise your body mirrors your thoughts, feelings, mood, and responds to your state of mind, the questions you ask and the words you speak. So if the mind and body are intrinsically connected – meaning that one has a direct affect on the other – it becomes clear that if we directly and consciously take control of one, it will influence and transform the other.
By mindfully adjusting how you use your body you can directly influence your state of mind, and dramatically transform your attitude. Just imagine you’re sitting there in a bad mood, shoulders hanging forward, shallow breathing and frowning. Go ahead and do this right now to experience how it influences your state of mind. And then do the opposite: stand up straight and put a big smile on your face. Take some deep, strong breaths and stretch your arms into the air.
Notice how you feel better?
Bottom line: Take the vehicle your creator has given you and use it! Your body is the best tool for changing your attitude and relieving stress in an instant.
If you’re still looking to make positive changes after doing the eight things above, I have a few more recommendations:
And remember that most people cope with stress in the easiest, unhealthy ways imaginable – drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, eating sweets, arguing with people, mindlessly watching TV, procrastinating, and so forth. Ironically, these activities often cause even more stress and mental anguish. So don’t take the easy way out. Instead, use the ideas above to cope without these unhealthy crutches…
Start doing the hard things you know you need to for yourself!
Every. Single. Day.
Now, it’s your turn…
Before you go, I’d love to hear from YOU in the comments section below.
Which point above do you resonate with most? What helps you nurture your mental health and overall wellness when life gets stressful?
Men can’t help but
love women. But do you really know what men like in women and what is it about
a woman that they find most attractive? Find out here.
Men like women. A lot.
But there are a few
kinds of women that men absolutely adore and fall in love with, wherever they
Ever seen an ad on the
television where a girl walks across the street and all the guys either trail
her or wolf whistle in appreciation?
Want to be that girl?
When it comes to
appreciation at first sight, what different men like in women doesn’t really
vary a lot.
It’s the simple things
And it’s really simple
to become that woman who can make heads turn and men swoon wherever you go.
Find out what men like
in women and be that attractive woman that all men want and desire.
But then again, once
you know what men really like in women, what are you going to do with all that
What men like in women
infatuation at first sight are very different from the deep appreciation that
men get once they get to know a woman well.
But for starters, here
are the special aspects about women that make men thank the one above for
creating women in the first place.
#1 A cheerful attitude
The cheerful laugh or
a flirty giggle of a happy, cheerful woman can melt even the hardest of manly
hearts. Have a happy, cheerful personality and try to look at the happier side
of life all the time. There’s something about a cheerful woman whose eyes light
up with joy that draws all men to her.
#2 The way she looks
It’s always easier to
attract attention from men when you make an effort to look good and dress well.
A bright red umbrella is always a lot more attention grabbing on a rainy day
amidst all the dull umbrellas, doesn’t it?
Dress well and feel
good about yourself. You don’t really have to try and stand out with bold,
flashy colors all the time. Just dress like a perfect ten in well fitting
clothes and appear confident. And yes, don’t forget that dab of perfume to
leave a trail of men swooning over your fragrance as you walk past them!
#3 Flirty gestures
What men like in women
is a streak of flirty seduction. Do you curl your lips or hold a pen in your
lip when you’re trying to come up with an idea? Do you wink or raise your
eyebrows flirtily when you say goodbye or pass a smart remark? Well, if you do
indulge in any of those expressions or even a million other expressions that
make you look cuter-than-cute, then you’re already on your way to make hearts
beat a lot faster.
Men can’t get enough
of flirty gestures from women. Stand in front of the mirror and try a few
flirty moves. It may seem dumb at first, but hey, remember what men like in
women and try this tip. It’s guaranteed to show results within seconds!
#4 Just a little bit of
Want that glance to
turn into a second and third glance? Learn to show a bit of skin. An outright
pound of cleavage or a slab of midriff can seem attractive, but it’s also
trashy and crude. And it makes you look like you’re trying too hard to please
and get attention.
Play subtle. It works
a lot better. A shirt or a tee that ends just right around where your jeans
start, or a perfectly fitting top with a wider neck that shows a bit but yet
needs a bit of craning to get a peep is just perfect for men. They love the
nearly-there peeks and their curiosity would drive them crazy enough to stare,
again and again.
#5 A seductive voice
If there’s anything
that makes the hair on the back of a man’s neck stand in excitement, it’s a
woman’s sweet and sexy voice. Now mastering the art of the husky voice takes
time, so don’t give it too much of a thought just yet.
When you’re speaking
with a man, speak in a low tone and avoid the high pitched glass shattering
squeal that most women use when they’re surprised or ecstatic with joy. A low,
soft voice inadvertently sounds more arousing and attractive. And the best part
here, it’s easy to speak in a low, softer tone without seeming like you’re
trying too hard. Try your new softer voice the next time you’re on the phone.
And don’t blame us if the man on the other end gets flirty!
#6 A woman who asks
This is every man’s
dream. Well, as long as he isn’t your man already!
Men like to feel
wanted and appreciated by women. Most women think men are slobs who hate
working or running errands, but that’s the case only if he’s already in a long
term relationship with you. If he’s single and a woman with all the
aforementioned characteristics walks up to him and asks him to help her out
with a smile, he’d jump up like a jack in the box.
Men absolutely love a
woman who asks for help. It makes them feel more macho, gives them an excuse to
have a conversation with a pretty woman, and reawakens their evolutionary
desire to be the provider and the protector. And when you thank a man with a
flirty smile, there’s a good chance that he’d gush with awkward embarrassment and
ask for your phone number!
#7 A woman’s ability
to flirt back
Do you ever flirt back
with a man, even if it’s just for fun? Many women feel awkward, embarrassed or
even threatened when a friendly guy starts a little flirting game.
Just because you
indulge in a friendly game of flirting doesn’t mean you’re falling for a guy,
remember that. If you want to impress a man, have a fun conversation with him.
If you bring your flirty expressions into the conversation, there’s a good
chance that any guy would want to flirt with you or sweet talk you, even if
he’s with his own girlfriend!
But you don’t always
have to flirt back with a guy, sometimes when you play hard to get and blow hot
or cold once in a while, it’ll throw a guy off guard and make him try harder to
#8 A woman who
acknowledges a man’s stare
You may like a guy
who’s sipping his whiskey at the far end of the bar counter. How would you feel
if he looks at you, gives you his dirtiest stare and looks away? You’d feel
shattered, of course.
Men have a heart too,
you know. If a guy’s trying to catch your attention or trying to exchange a
glance, you don’t need to reciprocate all the time. But if he does seem decent
enough, it’s a warm gesture to lock eyes for a second and look away.
You don’t need to date
him or have his babies, but a simple acknowledgement that you noticed him can
make his day, especially when you’re such a stunning woman with all the charms.
You can look once and forget all about it, and any guy would appreciate that.
If there’s one thing men like in women, it’s the ability to acknowledge a man
without blowing him off in the first glance.
You could give him
your dirtiest stare though, if he seems too eager to continue the game or makes
a move to talk to you.
Now that you know what
men like in women, use these eight tips and you’ll see how easy it can be to
win the attention of men around you. And the best part, it’ll never appear like
you’re trying to make an impression!
Love triangles are
confusing affairs. Find out how love triangles work, how you could end up
falling into one and how you can get out of one here.
Have you ever been in
love with someone who’s already in love with someone else?
Or are you in love
with someone right now, but find yourself falling for someone else at the same
Well, you’re just
living the perfect love triangle life!
What is a love
A love triangle is a
complicated dating scenario where there’s love in the air, but there are more
than two people involved.
When love is mutual
and shared between two people, everything is perfect, simple and easy.
But when a third
person enters the picture, everything changes just like that.
In come the
complications and the frustrations, laced with intense happiness and a flow of
The two types of love
There are two primary
types of love triangles. There are many complicated love triangles too, but
they always find a way to fit into these two scenarios.
#1 Two people trying to win one person’s
#2 One person who’s in love with one person
but likes someone else at the same time.
How would you find
yourself in a love triangle?
If you have a crush on
someone who’s already in a relationship, that doesn’t become a love triangle.
It stays as a crush.
And if you’re in a
perfectly happy relationship and your friend tells you they’re in love with
you, that’s not a love triangle either, because your friend just has a crush on
A love triangle starts
only when there is reciprocation.
When a single person
starts to feel a reciprocating connection with someone who’s already dating, or
if you’re in a relationship with one person and start loving someone else who
reciprocates your love, it has the perfect recipe for a love triangle.
reciprocation does a motive to pursue arise. After all, if you liked someone
and that person didn’t care about you, there’s nothing at all that you can do,
It doesn’t matter if
you’re in a relationship or you’re single, what you need to realize is that
love triangles can never ever be created because of one person’s weak moment.
It always takes two people to start the complication while the third person
suffers for no fault of theirs.
No one wants to be in
a love triangle
And yet, almost all of
us end up in one. A love triangle may start off as an interesting distraction
at first, which then unexpectedly turns into love. And this can lead to sticky
love triangles where one person could be in love with two people at the same
When you don’t want to
take a step ahead, nor do you want to take a step back and stay happy in your
own relationship, a love triangle starts to form even if you try your best to
Love triangles always
affect a relationship negatively
For the person who’s
single, it’s simple. All they need to do is steal the person who’s already in
If you’re single and
trying to steal someone who’s in an unhappy relationship, it’s really easy. But
what do you do if they’re with someone they really love? They may love you and
yet, they may not want to lose their own partner. You may be able to steal a
few happy moments of love and lust, but if nothing really works out, you can
still walk away with your share of pain and helplessness.
On the other hand, a
person who loves two people will want the best of both people, and the worst of
none. They’d start picking flaws in their partner, and creating false reasons
to justify why they’re cheating. They need a reason to convince themselves that
they’re not happy in the relationship, and that’s the only reason they’re
falling for someone else or getting involved in a love triangle.
But even when the
third person walks away from their life someday, can they ever overcome all the
flaws they’ve picked in their relationship?
Unless there’s a lot
of love and bonding in the relationship, a love triangle always leaves a deep
scar that tests the person’s faith in the relationship.
And almost always, a
relationship that is put through the test of a love triangle fails or never
regains its former glory.
Love triangles are
If you’re involved in
a love triangle right now, you would know this. A love triangle is a lot of fun
for the cheating partner and the third person, because it’s so exciting and
risky. When you enjoy the pleasures of a love triangle, it’s always fun.
But for your partner
who’s in the dark, it may be a very miserable time because you’re ignoring
them, detaching yourself emotionally from them, and completely avoiding them.
And once the fire and
the passion of your secret affair starts to die down and you realize that you
still love your partner and not this third person *which almost always
happens*, you’d start to feel the pain too.
So what do you really
get out of a love triangle? Nothing but pain, even if it feels like fun while
Love triangles are
You may think it’s
acceptable for you to love someone else behind your lover’s back. But would you
be fine if your partner behaved exactly like you, used the same flirty words
you use with your adulterous lover, with someone they like? If that
bothers you, you’re being very unfair to your partner and you’re being selfish.
I know you feel
helpless, but you really need to keep this in mind. Most lovers who are stuck
in love triangles forget to think from their partner’s point of view now and
then. By keeping your partner in mind, even if you do fall for someone else,
you’ll always know who’s more important at the back of your mind. And that
guilt will help give you the strength to walk away even if you’ve rolled in the
hay with someone else for a few weeks.
Love triangles are
Let’s face it. We
can’t always stop ourselves from appreciating someone else, or falling for
someone else helplessly. But a love triangle is best avoided.
It can happen when you
least expect it. You may just enjoy a conversation with someone, and without
realizing it, a few weeks later, you may be in love with them because they
excite you and have infatuated you. Don’t hate yourself if that happens to you.
Just learn to do the right thing.
But if you ever do experience
a love triangle, instead of picking flaws in your own relationship, ask
yourself whom you’d really choose, and who you want to be with. Just one
answer. Don’t try to push that thought away. You have no choice, because
someday you’re going to have to decide on that. And the earlier you make up
your mind, the less painful it’ll be for everyone involved.
A love triangle starts
only when you’re confused over your emotions for your partner. If you’re
certain about who you’re truly in love with, you’ll never have a weak moment
even if you just enjoy a flirty conversation with a flirty someone outside your
You don’t need to be
wary of everyone you talk to, or avoid ever getting friendly with anyone of the
opposite sex. All you need to remember is how happy you already are in your
perfect relationship. Just keeping that in mind will safeguard you from ever
sliding down the exciting and dark hole of love triangles.
If you’re experiencing
a love triangle or wondering how to get over one, it doesn’t make you a bad
person. It only makes you human.
EMOTIONAL CHEATING AND 10 BAD THINGS IT CAN DO TO YOU
EMOTIONAL CHEATING AND 10 BAD THINGS IT CAN DO TO YOU
cheating is more common than you think. But before you slip into one without
thinking, read about the 10 bad things it can do to you.
You may hold a high moral ground and believe that you’ll never ever cheat on your partner.
But just when you least expect it, you may find yourself cheating emotionally.
It happens all the time.
If you enjoy spending time with your friend more than your own partner, well, you’re probably on the verge of cheating emotionally.
What is emotional cheating?
When one thinks of a cheating scenario, the first image that flashes in the mind is a man with his trousers around his ankles and a woman on a bed who’s holding a sheet, trying really hard to cover her modesty.
But over time, we’ve come to realize that having sex with someone outside the marriage isn’t the only way to cheat.
Unknown to many, the most common kind of cheating that couples experience almost all the time is emotional cheating.
If you feel more emotionally connected and closer to someone else than your own partner, you’re probably emotionally cheating on your partner already.
Are close friendships really emotional cheating?
It’s always good to have a few friends that you can trust and depend on when you need a shoulder because you can’t isolate yourself and revolve your entire life around your partner. And having a confidante to share your views and thoughts will always give you the space in a relationship to have your own life too.
But there’s a very thin line between emotional cheating and sharing a close bond with someone of the opposite sex.
And almost always, this thin line is too blurry to ever notice the difference between friendship and an affair.
If you find yourself getting addicted to this friend, be it a coworker or an old friend from college, and you like spending more time with them than your own partner, that’s not good news for your love life.
The relationship you share with a friend of the opposite sex could be purely platonic, but if talking about this friendship with your partner makes you feel awkward, or if you try to hide a few details now and then, chances are, you’ll falling for this friend emotionally.
Cheating emotionally and your love life
As exciting and refreshing as spending time with your new best friend could feel, if you ever start to feel like you’re craving to be with this friend or if you spend a lot of time smiling to yourself and recollecting fond memories of the friendly special times, you need to look into the mirror and confront yourself.
You do realize you’re emotionally falling for someone else, don’t you?
The 10 bad things emotional cheating will bring into your life
You can live a secret life where you dress up to impress your *friend* or have hushed conversations with them after your partner’s asleep. But at some point in time, you need to ask yourself if you even realize what you’re doing.
It’s easy to be selfish when you’re having fun. But try to keep in mind these 10 things that emotional cheating can bring into your life. And at times, there may never be a happy ending in sight too.
#1 You’ll start to lead two lives. Having an emotional affair will force you to live two lives. On one hand, you’ll try to focus on your own lover. And on the other hand, you’ll try extremely hard to spend a lot of time with your friend.
And as your partner and your friend probably don’t know each other, you’ll have to make time for both of them. And almost all the time, you’ll leave one of them feeling hurt.
#2 You lose focus at work. When you get infatuated by someone, you can’t help but spend all day dreaming about them or replaying visions of the happy moments both of you have had together. And because of this, cheating emotionally on your partner can affect your work life in two ways.
Firstly, you’ll spend a lot of time chatting with your friend and ignoring your work because it’s the only time you get away from your partner. And secondly, you can’t daydream at home because your partner’s around all the time, so you spend a big part of your office hours whiling away your time fantasizing about this friend.
#3 You start to take your partner for granted. When you get addicted to someone new, you can’t help but push the one you already love just a little further away from your heart. Your partner won’t understand why you’re neglecting them all of a sudden.
And for the first time in a long time, you’ll start to test your partner and expect them to pamper you and treat you better even though you’re not reciprocating the same behavior. In your mind, you’re trying to compare your lover and your friend to see who’s a better wooer of you.
#4 A lot of petty fights. When you start cheating emotionally, petty fights in your love life will be inevitable. Your partner will hate your behavior because they can’t understand you and your subtle secrecy anymore. And they’ll think you’ve changed because you’re not giving enough back into the relationship to ensure its happiness.
#5 Your life will stop moving ahead. You’ll forget about all your goals or ambitions that you’ve worked on for so long. Your life will be put on hold and you’ll start to live in a fantasy world where your friend pops into your happy fantasies all the time.
Nothing else would matter to you other than thinking of ways to be with this friend. You’ll be completely smitten by this friend of yours and you’ll spend a lot of time plotting ways to spend more time with them. But since you spend a lot of time convincing yourself that both of you are just friends, you won’t even realize how much you’re messing your own life up.
#6 You’ll be frustrated. You’re neither here nor there. You’re in a relationship with one person where you’re happy, but you’re addicted to someone else who makes you happier. You can’t name the relationship you have with this special friend and that annoys you and confuses you. And somewhere deep inside, as much as you want it, you know you can’t have them both.
#7 You’ll destroy your existing romance. This is inevitable when you cheat emotionally in love. Even if your partner is a perfect lover, you’d start to convince yourself that your partner’s neglect and indifference towards you is the reason behind why you’re falling for someone else emotionally.
You’ll plot, ponder and create flaws in your partner just to give a reason for your attraction towards your friend. And these flaws you create in your mind about your own partner will never ever go away. After all, when you pick a flaw in someone, you’ll never be able to see them in the same happy light again.
#8 Your priorities change overnight. You may think you’ve not changed, but all of a sudden, your partner would start to feel like a stranger who doesn’t understand you anymore. You’d get annoyed with your partner and their behavior all the time. You may even intentionally pick fights with your lover to give yourself more space so you can get consoled by your special friend.
#9 Guilt wouldn’t give you any peace of mind. When you’re cheating emotionally, you’ll feel guilty for what you’re doing. But at the same time, you’ll helplessly be drawn deeper into the web of emotional infidelity, and that makes you feel guiltier for having mixed feelings for two people at the same time. And to shove the guilt under the carpet, you’ll start distancing yourself from your own partner emotionally.
#10 You’ll become a liar. You may believe that honesty truly matters in a perfect relationship. But when you realize you’re getting emotionally attracted to someone else, you’ll find yourself walking on eggshells all the time, trying to conceal your real feelings about this friend to your partner.
You may avoid talking about your friend altogether, you may lie about why you have to stay back at work, or you may make excuses and lie to your partner just to meet this friend over a weekend. But all said and done, you’ll turn into a compulsive liar who’s lies will only get bigger with time.
Emotional cheating, as exciting as it may seem now, will only hurt you over time. After all, once you cross that thin line of emotional infidelity, there’s no way you can come out of it without a painful scar.