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Friday, 25 April 2014

The Four Secrets of Living a Balanced and Beautiful Life

Few months ago on a cold and chilly day in December I was having my morning coffee, browsing on the internet and thinking about my life. That time, I was not happy at all: I did not like my job; I felt useless and thought that no one appreciated me or my efforts. I did not have much free time, however I spent my days off solely with things I had to do but did not enjoy the least, such as grocery shopping, cleaning and doing other household chores. I felt guilty and missed my “previous life” when I felt good, was able to find the time for exercising my creative skills, doing regular workout and meeting friends who really inspired me. 

After I moved to a new country and faced some challenges and unexpected difficulties, I started to lose my interest in my own passions. I felt isolated and simply being stuck into a life that was not exactly the one that I could relate to myself at all. I made a list of things that I was not happy with that time and another one including everything that I am grateful for, my small and big successes from the present and the past. I only needed two slips of paper and a pen. Yet, the mental work that I did became the base of my motivation to finally initiate some serious changes in my lifestyle. I would really recommend doing a little self-analysis to anyone who feels that things are not going quite right in their career and/or private lives. Although recognizing that you need to change is only the first step of a long, exhausting and risky journey, it is the main and most powerful trigger that will keep you going through the process.I made a list of things that I was not happy with that time and another one including everything that I am grateful for, my small and big successes from the present and the past. I only needed two slips of paper and a pen. Yet, the mental work that I did became the base of my motivation to finally initiate some serious changes in my lifestyle. I would really recommend doing a little self-analysis to anyone who feels that things are not going quite right in their career and/or private lives. Although recognizing that you need to change is only the first step of a long, exhausting and risky journey, it is the main and most powerful trigger that will keep you going through the process.

Now, I would like to share the Four Secrets that I encountered at the beginning of my journey towards discovering my real passions:

Experimenting
Regardless what changes you want to invite into your life, you will take risks and decisions that might result in failure. As soon as you step outside of your comfort-zone, you will feel vulnerable and think that “everyone else is doing better than you”. Either you enroll yourself to a course in photography or take up yoga; you will be a beginner in the first times. Starting a change involves making mistakes of which most of us feel ashamed and humiliated. Remember that if you are afraid of adventures and do not dare to experiment, you will never find your true passion, thus you will never experience real happiness and could not live a wholesome life.

Asking for Help
Everyone has been a beginner many-many times in their lives and they always will be from time-to time. No one thinks that it is ridiculous that you cannot do 60 minutes hardcore workout every day or that you should feel ashamed for not knowing how to take a good picture. Others with more experience have good intentions and are happy to give support for those in need. Believing in yourself is the most important thing regarding your happiness but trust in others is also essential. Instead of isolating yourself into perfectionism and self-pride, be social and brave enough to ask for help. Do not feel ashamed of your temporary incompetence or limited results! As your yoga-pals or the other members of the photo-class were once beginners as well, they still remember the challenges of the early days and are looking forward to help you. Accept your limitations but aim for improvement! If you feel overwhelmed, do not be afraid to talk about your problems and turn to other people; they are ready to support you.

picture: Pinterest


Dare to Fail!
While discovering your special talents and developing your skills, it is inevitable to make mistakes or take decisions that sometimes lead to unfavorable outcomes. Accept your failures and be objective! See, analyze and learn from your faults but do not waste too much time with self-doubt and feeling guilty because of having said something wrong, eaten something sugary or skipping your exercise. There are no good or bad decisions, things are not black or white in life. Taking risks might feel unpleasant from time to time but you will not be able to succeed without acknowledging both your failures and successes.

Be Adaptable!
Lifestyle change not only requires planning and organization, but patience and flexibility as well. It is essential to have a strategy in order to convert your old, harmful habits into beneficial ones, but from time-to-time you might need to revise your plan. As you and your general circumstances change, you will have different aims or expectations. If you realize that training in a gym makes you feel uncomfortable, try exercising at home or in the park. As soon as the 15-minutes exercise proves to be to easy for you, do 30 minutes workout every other day! Similarly, if you do not enjoy the journalism course, because you don’t like to read aloud your articles in public, then start a blog and practice writing on your own in the comfort of your home. Whatever new habit you try to employ, make sure that you enjoy the process and be adaptable; planning and organisaton is good but you might want to stop for a minute sometimes and see the results.  Ask yourself how do you really feel and add new or remove undesirable elements. The main thing is to feel good!

Journaling, self-analysis, researching about topics that you are interested in, regular exercising and mental workout can all guide you in the way to find your passion. Since I have been practicing all the above, I have become more familiar with my strengths, skills and talents and managed to invite positive changes in my life. I am simply happier and feel more confident. I found a job where I feel useful and appreciated and spend my free time with things that I really enjoy doing. 

Thanks to the Four Secrets, I have a healthy approach to difficulties in my life and feel being totally in charge for my own happiness.